Tennessee Group Calls New COVID-19 Education Bill ‘Huge Waste in Spending’


Members of the Williamson County-based Tennessee Stands said this week that a new education bill in the Tennessee General Assembly is unnecessary and if it goes through then the state will waste a lot of money.

State Sen. Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) is sponsoring the bill, which he calls the Tennessee Learning Loss Remediation and Student Acceleration Act. The COVID-19 pandemic, and its effects on public schools, prompted the legislation.

The bill, if enacted into law, would require that local education agencies and public charter schools implement a program of after-school learning mini-camps, learning loss bridge camps, and summer learning camps to remediate student learning loss.

“Research shows that there is an estimated 50 percent decrease in proficiency rates in third-grade reading and a 65 percent decrease in proficient [rates] in math. That is unacceptable,” Johnson told The Tennessee Star in an email Thursday.

“This legislation provides rigorous opportunities for students to catch up and accelerate learning after the unprecedented disruptions caused by COVID-19. Getting them on track is key not only to how these students will succeed in school — but in life. It impacts their ability to get a good job and support their families, which in turn, affects our economy and our state as a whole.”

But members of Tennessee Stands, in an emailed newsletter to supporters this week, said they oppose Johnson’s bill.

“We consider this to be a huge waste in spending and creates programs to address issues that could all be alleviated by simply moving towards in-person learning now,” according to the Tennessee Stands email.

“Further, this bill creates ‘optional’ programs for which the LEA will receive funding regardless of whether or not it utilizes the programs. This bill will also put a great burden on staff and teachers where many are already facing burnout.”

Johnson’s bill requires that Tennessee Department of Education officials create and administer the Tennessee learning loss remediation and student acceleration program.

Tennessee Stands, according to its website, focuses on individual liberties in the state.

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








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One Thought to “Tennessee Group Calls New COVID-19 Education Bill ‘Huge Waste in Spending’”

  1. 83ragtop50

    Looks to me like Johnson is not going to let an educational crisis go to waste. BU the is quite willing to waste taxpayer money on his folly.