April 12, 2021
NASHVILLE – Tennesseans for Student Success (TSS) today released the following statement after Governor Bill Lee held a press conference to discuss the more than $4.5 billion Tennessee school districts will receive from the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund.
“As I wrote last week, it is imperative that every single action taken and every single dollar spent puts students first, and we are glad Governor Lee is showing leadership and setting high expectations for how these federal dollars should be spent,” said Adam Lister, President and CEO of Tennesseans for Student Success. “As Commissioner Schwinn and Gov. Lee said today, every dollar should be spent directly on student achievement and building the public education system our children deserve at an accelerated rate. With nearly an extra full year of state funding being placed in the hands of our local schools, accountability and demonstrative advances in student improvements must be the cornerstone of our goal to become the top state in education.”
In an op-ed earlier this month, Lister called for precision and accountability in how school districts use the massive influx of federal dollars for K-12 education, writing: “It is imperative that Tennessee use these new resources from state and federal leaders to not only mitigate learning loss for our students, but to build a better public education system than before the pandemic. Money is important, but only if spent wisely, with accountability, and in proven, effective solutions. The question now before state and local leaders is how we use this opportunity to improve outcomes for every student in every district of our state.”