Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles Formally Asks Tennessee Governor Bill Lee to Fire Penny Schwinn


Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner (TDEC) Penny Schwinn must leave, said Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles on Wednesday.

Ogles posted on his Facebook page that Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee must remove Schwinn. Ogles said he formally called on Lee to do this only hours after he read Wednesday’s Tennessee Star article that quoted three former TDEC higher-ups. Those former employees, speaking anonymously, denounced Schwinn and her alleged on-the-job behavior. They said she falsified government records, ridiculed Lee at TDEC staff meetings, and lied to avoid appearing in public alongside U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

Schwinn proposed last month that state officials conduct child well-being checks on all children in Tennessee from birth to 18. Ogles said “that was the end for me, but I didn’t say anything.”

“When I saw your story my immediate visceral response was this is enough. I’ve had enough. This is a critical time for education for our children in the state of Tennessee,” Ogles told The Star.

“The kids lost half of a year last year. They are missing part of a year this year. My children — and when I say my children, I mean the children of Maury County — my at-risk kids are falling further and further behind.”

Ogles also said that Schwinn jeopardized how much federal funding Tennessee might receive by dodging a meeting with DeVos.

“I need someone who will be on-the-job, taking it seriously and not chasing these rabbit holes of child well-being. We need our children’s education,” Ogles said.

“The last thing you need to do is come into my home and interview and interrogate my children when there is no probable cause.”

Ogles also said Tennessee officials too often hire education commissioners with Ph.D.’s. He described such people as “theoretical educators.” Schwinn holds a Ph.D. in education policy from Claremont Graduate University in California, according to TDEC’s website.

“And that has not worked out very well. Maybe we should find a former legislator or someone who has experience in the trenches leading education policy here in the state of Tennessee. There’s a whole host of individuals who would fit that bill. And I’m sure there are several legislators that would be willing to step into that role,” Ogles said.

“They have that vested interest and knowledge and institutional knowledge on how education works and doesn’t work in the state of Tennessee. So why not let them effect change? Why not let them help the governor lead this state? Our governor is a really good man. He is passionate about our kids. He really wants to be that governor who takes our education to that next level, but he has an obstacle in his cabinet — and that obstacle is the commissioner.”

– – –

Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]







Related posts

11 Thoughts to “Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles Formally Asks Tennessee Governor Bill Lee to Fire Penny Schwinn”

  1. JG2284

    This guy needs to primary Lee (I know that they are buddies) but they appear to think very differently about everything. If not gov I would like him to move to Sumner Co and take out this annoying Holt guy…

    Fox17 wants to crucify him for letting the mask mandates expire and the rise in school cases in Maury Co. Good Grief!

  2. 83ragtop50

    She was identified as a mistake when the governor pulled her out of his hat.

    She is a dyed-in-the-wool liberal who thinks her job is to indoctrinate the students with the kind of stuff that is destroying America form the inside.

    Lee may be a “good man” but he is a failure as a governor.

  3. mikey whipwreck

    we need to quit importing people from california and the N. E.

    they dont work out around here.

    remember pedro garcia?

  4. Beatrice Shaw

    Republican wingnuts Let the Commissioner do her job

    1. Julie

      Does anyone know why Bea trolls the Tennessee Star? She is usually so appropriate God love her.

    2. Dave

      Back to your cave, libtard troll, you’ve been out in the sun too much & your brain is fried.

  5. John

    Finally! Someone with the nads to stand up and tell our gutless, spineless Governor what should have been done a long time ago.

    Boycott Lee Company. There are other smaller companies you can contract to do your electrical, plumbing, etc at a far better rate, with better service and workmanship.

    1. Jennifer

      Right! I just don’t agree with him that Gov Lee is a good governor. I truly believe he but off more than he can chew and needs to quietly step down. He reminds me sooo much of the behavior of Bush jr. A Christian, for the people, family man, etc and then gets in office and tucks his tail and only comes out of hiding to “support” others with a backbone (just not the right backbones). It is so weird! I think it ALL points to the Gates visit to TN. At first I thought he was bought and he may be but moreover I think he didn’t even have to be bought. I think he is easily swayed. Personally I don’t think Gates paid a dime for him.

  6. Julie

    If Governor Lee is a true conservative he will remove this self-important leftist who is more interested in making a political statement than the education of children in Tennessee. He seems to be mostly MIA. Who is running this thing? Are we going to see some leadership here?

    1. Richard Vaughan

      I don’t trust Lee anymore. I think we made a mistake by voting him in

  7. rick

    Good call! She needs to go back to the land of fruits and nuts, California!