Advocacy & Policy

TSS Policy Review: Innovation in Education

Tennesseans for Student Success TNSuccessCard Policy Priorities

Preceding the release of our TNSuccessCard this summer, we are highlighting our policy pillars and the corresponding bills that are associated with those priorities to help inform the grades each legislator has earned. Today, we are featuring accountability.

Innovation in Education

Every student in Tennessee, no matter their zip code, deserves to learn in a top-notch Tennessee public school that meets their individual needs and prepares them for their future. The opportunity to be innovative should be welcome in all Tennessee public schools because when public education is free to innovate, the results can be astounding.

Public education isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to student success. Many students, teachers, and classrooms flourish in traditional public school settings. For some, iZone schools, public charter schools, magnet schools, academy models, and alternative public-school settings are the answer for students to succeed.

2020 BILLS


SB 2180/HB 2869 – Led by Niceley/Coley. This bill advances public school choice by requiring local boards of education to admit students from outside their respective school systems if the district has the available space at the building, grade, class, and program level. Public education isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to student success. Empowering parents and students to choose where and what type of education they receive improves engagement and opportunity for success. Tennesseans for Student Success supported this bill.

SB 2343/HB 1993 – Led by Gresham/Dunn. This bill requires each school district to conduct an open enrollment period in which a parent or guardian of a student may seek to transfer the student to a school the student is not zoned to attend, provided there is available space. Public education isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to student success. TSS supports empowering parents with information about their options for public school choice. Tennesseans for Student Success supported this bill.

SB 1974/HB 2470 – Led by Gresham/Dunn. This bill would create a nine-person commission to develop recovery plans from COVID-19 for K-12 and higher education called the TN Commission on Education Recovery & Innovation. The commission would make recommendations on strategies to close educational gaps resulting from school closures and modernize the state’s instructional structure to create more flexibility in the delivery of education to students. Initial assessments on the effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on Tennessee’s educational systems would be submitted to the General Assembly by January 1, 2021. TSS supports innovative policies to help prepare students for productive citizenship and bright futures. Tennesseans for Student Success supported this bill.n

2019 BILLS


SB 796/HB 940 – Led by Johnson/Lamberth. This bill establishes the Tennessee Public Charter School Commission, a national best practice, creates a uniform appeal process for charter school applications while establishing more rigorous accountability and oversight for state-authorized charter schools. The state-wide commission as an independent statewide appeal panel will remove politics from authorization decisions and support TSS’ goal of increasing the number of high-quality public school seats across the state. Tennesseans for Student Success supported this bill.

To gain a better understanding of how this policy priority affects educators on a ground level, watch this video of Ms.Brittany Middlebrooks as she explains how accountability impacts her teaching.

Contact Your Legislators Regarding COVID-19

At TSS, we advocate for students and encourage Tennesseans to use their voice for TN’s kids.

Amid COVID-19, we are doing what we can to connect people with their elected officials, improve communications, and help solve problems. 

Send an email to your State Representative and State Senator regarding issues your school, students, or community are experiencing because of COVID-19. 

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