June 8, 2020
The 111th General Assembly continues their June session this week with a full week of Committee meetings in each Chamber after recessing from the COVID-19 pandemic in March. Many of the standing committees have closed with the focus on budgetary and time-sensitive COVID-19 related legislation.
Legislation to create the Tennessee Commission on Education Recovery and Innovation heads to the House and Senate Finance, Ways, and Means Committee before it goes to the floor of both chambers.
The House Education Committee will have their final meeting on Tuesday to hear one bill that the Judiciary Committee recommended.
The Senate Education Committee closed last week after passing several time-sensitive bills, moving the Tennessee Literacy Success Act to General Subcommittee, the equivalent of taking it off notice, and confirming they will not be hearing legislation outside their stated scope for the June session. TSS is disappointed that the literacy bill will not become law this session but looks forward to continuing to partner with the Tennessee Legislature, Governor Lee, and the Department of Education to move the needle forward for Tennessee’s one million students.
As legislators wrap up their reconvening, now more than ever, their commitment to student success must not waiver. During these challenging economic times, we must prioritize funding for public education, so that districts can focus on making the right decisions for student learning and safety.
To see action taken last week on education bills, click here.
The State’s Economic Recovery Group continues to provide guidance for Tennesseans through the Tennessee Pledge initiative.
As of last week, further recommendations were made for large community events like fairs, expos, festivals, and parades. Most recreation activities and exercise facilities are focusing on social distancing rather than capacity limits.
Six of the largest counties in TN remain to follow individuals, county-specific reopening plans. Those counties are Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, and Sullivan.
Mayor Cooper has started a hashtag to show how the Nashville community is coming together during this time, which is #NashvilleStrongStory.
As a result of the devastating and senseless acts over the past couple weeks, TSS’ President & CEO Adam Lister penned a letter to express the organization’s aim to seek to learn, understand, and work in partnership with black families in Tennessee.
While Tennesseans for Student Success’s commitment to improving public education will never wane, it should always take time to do what is right.
Read Lister’s remarks on these recent injustices here.
TSS recently kicked off our fifth annual statewide summer reading scholarship program, Tristar Reads. Throughout May, and during a time of social distancing, Tristar Reads featured Tennessee legislators reading a book aloud to students through their weekly newsletters and Facebook Live.
Watch our friends in the legislature like House Education Chairman Mark White, Senator Bill Powers, and Representative Esther Helton read aloud on TSS’ YouTube Channel.
Additionally, for the first time, TSS launched the Tristar Reads Team Leader program. This program expands the summer reading scholarship program to include an opportunity for parents, teachers, librarians, high school students, and community leaders to outreach in their community, and it can be done all online. Team Leaders will be asked to recruit students to their team to read this summer. If Team Leaders succeed at recruiting new students to read, TSS will donate a percentage of funds to a literacy nonprofit, library, or school library in their community.
June 9th – 1:00PM: House Education Committee
June 10th – 4:00PM: House Finance, Ways, and Means Committee
Stay on top of the Tennessee General Assembly’s schedule here.