A Voucher by Any Other Name

In November, 2018, 92% of Tennessee School Boards Association (TSBA) delegates voted for a resolution urging lawmakers to oppose “any legislation or other similar effort to create a voucher program that would divert money intended for public education to private schools or organizations.” TSBA membership includes 141 Tennessee school boards, whose members are elected by their districts to manage and control all public schools.

While our elected school boards have repeatedly and overwhelmingly voted to oppose vouchers and similar schemes in Tennessee for nearly a decade, state legislators have ignored their pleas and continued working in the interests of private corporations, rather than public education. This legislative session (January 2019 – May 2020), we expect voucher bills to continue to be pushed by those legislators whose campaign accounts are more important than their youngest and most vulnerable community members.

This time around, we expect to see increasingly ‘creative’ names for these bills, to mislead the public regarding the true nature of these bills. This kind of semantic trickery is should not be tolerated.

Please contact your Tennessee House and Senate representatives and governor-elect, to let them know that you oppose any plan to divert money from our public schools, regardless of what they call it. Please encourage them to do away with the slick sales pitches and listen to their local boards of education, and to fully support our public schools.

Tennessee House:    http://www.capitol.tn.gov/house/members/

Tennessee Senate:   http://www.capitol.tn.gov/senate/members/

Governor-Elect Bill Lee’s transition page:   http://www.transition.billlee.com

Term Limits?

I was recently asked why the term limits for Knox County government officials do not extend to school Board members.

The answer can be found in Tennessee Supreme Court documents from 2006-2007:

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE

AT KNOXVILLE

September 6, 2006 Session

DIANE

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TN(not)Ready – part 1

A Timeline and Explanation of Governor Haslam’s Protested “Listening” Tour

On Tuesday, August 21st at noon, the Tennessee School Boards Association forwarded to school board members, a press release from Governor Haslam’s office:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced a multi-phase plan, highlighted by a statewide listening tour, to

Continue reading TN(not)Ready – part 1

We get along quite nicely; thanks.

This is being reposted from a social media conversation, regarding the budget and the relationship between the school board and county commission:

What nobody seems to want to accept, is that the “budget” the BOE “passes” in April is not the actual, final budget. It is ONLY a REQUEST and is required of every office

Continue reading We get along quite nicely; thanks.

Statement from ProjectGRAD Founders

JOINT STATEMENT FROM THE FOUNDERS OF PROJECT GRAD KNOXVILLE April 17, 2018 As the original founders of the Project GRAD Knoxville partnership with Knox County Schools, we want to thank the Knox County School Board for delaying its vote on the FY18 budget

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TN(still not)Ready

Once again, the Tennessee Department of Education has both failed to deliver a usable achievement test and refused to accept responsibility. The email from Commissioner McQueen to Directors of Schools makes it clear that they are blaming everything EXCEPT the department’s continued failures:

Sent: Monday, April 16, 2018 3:07 PM Subject: RE: Update on

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KCS Harassment Policy

Unfortunately, there has been a lot of misinformation spread regarding the Knox County Schools employee and student harassment policies. I want share factual information, rather than trying to address every false claim that is being spread.

The Knox County Board of Education reviews every policy, every year. It is actually required by state law, that

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Overhauling Antiquated Discipline Practices Should Not Wait

The Knox County Schools Board of Education recognized a need to make changes to discipline practices several years ago. After nearly three years of work, a clear and comprehensive plan has been created and presented for the Board to approve, but suddenly, there is a huge political push to put the brakes on all of

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School Voucher Issue Brief (TSBA)

Please continue contacting your representatives in the Tennessee House and Senate to let them know that you oppose school vouchers.

Public funds should remain in public control, rather than being pushed out to private corporations.

Public funds are meant to be used for the public good.

There are many choices available to people. Taking funds

Continue reading School Voucher Issue Brief (TSBA)

BILL FOR PARTISAN SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS

Partisan politics has no place in public education.

Please contact Representative Smith and Senator Gresham, as well as all members of the Local Government Subcommittee to let them know that you OPPOSE this legislation. (Contact information is below.)

Our kids and our public schools deserve to be represented by people who are focused on them

Continue reading BILL FOR PARTISAN SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS