May 5, 2021
After a year unlike any other, we are especially appreciative of the role teachers play in the lives of students across our state – in and out of the classroom. This Teacher Appreciation Week, we recognize the challenges teachers have faced throughout the pandemic and recognize the way they have adapted as the world changed around us. We are grateful for our Tennessee teachers and hope you will join us this week by thanking a teacher in your community.
As the legislature prepares to adjourn for the session, TSS continues to watch last minute action in both the Senate and House, including HB580, legislation that would, amongst other provisions, prohibit the teaching of critical race theory. The bill, as amended, passed the House earlier this week by a vote of 69-23-1, but the Senate refused to concur with the amendment and the House subsequently refused to recede. The legislation will now likely be sent to conference sometime today, where the House and Senate will confer before the bill is taken up again in either chamber.
On Monday by a vote of 25-4, the Senate passed the administration’s Achievement School District (ASD) bill, HB737 (Rep. Johnson), which provides a framework for schools to exit ASD governance or remain under parental petition.
Finally, this week, the House and Senate voted on the School Turnaround Pilot Program Act, SB122 (Sen. Haile)/HB1501 (Rep. Cochran), which requires the Department of Education to develop and implement a five-year school turnaround pilot program for schools identified as in need of intervention and prior to the school qualifying for the Achievement School District. The legislation passed the Senate by a vote of 21-9 and the House by a vote of 81-12.
Last week, both chambers approved Governor Lee’s $42.6 billion budget, which includes a TSS-supported $24 million allocation to the charter school facilities fund and investment in broadband infrastructure.
SCORE: Survey Reveals How COVID-19 Affected Tennessee Undergraduates
The Tennessean (Nashville): Board denies 2 applications, including second Nashville Classical Charter School
Times Free Press (Chattanooga): Teacher raises, mental health endowment and other education investments pass with Tennessee budget
Local 24 (Memphis): Read the new report on gifted education in Tennessee
The Tennessean (Nashville): U.S. News & World Report releases 2021 ranking of best high schools in Tennessee, nation