TVA Tower and REAL ID

Putting Knox County Schools in the TVA Towers will limit public access.

*REAL ID is only one of many concerns regarding placing our public schools’ administrative offices in a federal building. Please see my other posts on the TVA Tower to get a sense of the magnitude of problems with this deal.

 

WHAT IS A “REAL ID?”

“The REAL ID Act of 2005 establishes minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards. Beginning October 1, 2020, all persons must have a REAL ID license for accessing certain Federal buildings, entering nuclear facilities, and boarding commercial flights within the United States.”

“Non-compliant driver licenses and identification credentials issued beginning July 1, 2019, will display the phrase, “NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION” on the front of the credential.”

https://www.tn.gov/tnrealid/what-is-real-id.html

The REAL ID Act of 2005

establishes minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards. 

 

 

 

 

 

UNVERIFIED CLAIMS REGARDING 1ST FLOOR ACCESS

After many questions and constantly changing answers, I turned to the entity that is ultimately responsible for enforcing the requirements of the REAL ID Act: Homeland Security.

 

I CONTACTED HOMELAND SECURITY WITH THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:

Our local school district is considering locating our offices in part of TVA’s East Tower in Knoxville, TN. As we consider this move, there are many questions regarding REAL ID, but one stands out: 

We have been told that REAL ID will not be required for access to the first floor of the East Tower (even after October of 2020) and that any person will be able to enter. Since this is still part of a federal building, and is fully connected to the other TVA Tower, that information seems to run contrary to the REAL ID Act.

Can you please tell me whether an individual federal agency (specifically, TVA) has the authority to allow full public access to a large part of a federal building? Any guidance you can give on this issue is greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

THE HOMELAND SECURITY RESPONSE WAS CLEAR:

Thank you for contacting the Department of Homeland Security/REAL ID Program Office.

 If the facility does not currently require a driver’s license for entrance it will not be affected by REAL ID.

Thank you,
REAL ID Program Office
Department of Homeland Security

 

The TVA Tower DOES currently require a driver’s license, for ANY access (and a scan/search of all bags, pass through a metal detector, and a background check!).
It seems very clear to me, that this means that ALL parts of the tower will require a REAL ID for access. 

 

OTHER CONCERNS REGARDING “REAL ID”

Moving any part of our local government into a Federal building will negatively impact marginalized people by keeping them out of public offices everyone should have a right to access.

Real ID was part of a Homeland Security initiative after 9/11, but state compliance was minimal. Had it been rolling out over all this time, it wouldn’t be such a problem.

VERY FEW TENNESSEANS HAVE OBTAINED A “REAL ID”

Based on the story below, from WBIR, only about 4% of Tennesseans will be able to access the offices of our “public” schools administrative offices, if they are moved to the TVA Tower .

Have you called your Board of Education members and your County Commissioners to let them know how you feel? Have you asked why they are willing to take access away from parents, by housing KCS offices in a federal building? Have you asked who really gains from this deal? (Not students)

WBIR:

Only about 4% of Tennesseans have a REAL ID

 

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