JC Bowman Comments on Tennessee Public Education Lacking Local Control and Disbanding the Department of Education

Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Professional Educators of Tennessee Executive Director and CEO JC Bowman in studio to discuss the lack of local control Tennesseans have on their public school education standards and doing away with the federal Department of Education.

Leahy: Now in studio with us, our very good friend for many years, one of the first advertisers on The Tennessee Star, the head of Professional Educators of Tennessee, Mr. JC Bowman. Good morning, JC

Bowman: Hey, good morning, Michael.

Leahy: Now, let me start off with a shot across the bow, right? So, JC, I think our K-12 public schools are unsalvageable. I think that there are two particular things that I’d like to see the Tennessee General Assembly do when they convene in January. Number one, I’d like them to tell the Department of Education, we don’t want a dime of your money because with money comes strings.

And the second thing that I like to see them do is I’d like to see them make teachers’ unions illegal. That’s just me. I don’t think that will be enough to save K-12 public schools. You, of course, may have a different view. Tell me where I’m wrong.

Bowman: Well, number one, I’m like you. I want to de-invest from the federal government on. I think we have too much power at the US Department of Education, making too many decisions for us.

Leahy: Too many wrong decisions, pushing transgenderism critical race theory. We hate America.

Bowman: Well, they just come in here and do mandates after mandates after mandates, and we take their money, and only they put in between 6 to 9 percent of the money. It can be replaced. And it takes about that much to manage.

Leahy: It’s about that much to manage what they tell you you have to do.

Bowman: Yes. So I think you could do that, but local control has been replaced.

Leahy: Hold on. So this is one of your themes, and I’m not as familiar with this, but you just brought it up. So what you’re saying is local control there are, I think, what, 140 local education agencies:

Bowman: 146.

Leahy: Thank you. Local education agencies in the states, roughly, they correspond to 95 counties each county, plus another 50 or so 51 education agencies. Like here in Williamson County, I think we have two. Franklin Special School District, which is K8. Well, by the way, it’s a good system.

Bowman: David Snowden does a great job there.

Leahy: And then the Williamson County schools, which I know, 40,000 kids, K-12, so we have 146 of these locally run, supposedly, districts. Now, I think the way a lot of them are being run is a disaster because you’ve got left-wing lunatic school boards, at least in metro Nashville, and you got sort of a majority of left-wing lunatics in Williamson County, in my view.

And then you got these highly paid educrats who are trying to tell everybody what to do and many of the superintendents of schools. So I’m not a big fan of that. But what you’re saying is local control, which is somewhat better, is going away as the state has taken over a lot of stuff. Is that right?

Bowman: And you’ve got these outside groups that are dictating every decision, the money that they spend on it. Just look down the road a little bit to where Terri Lynn Weaver was. Terri Lynn Weaver by all counts is a conservative, and she was targeted by a group called Tennesseans for Student Success.

Leahy: She’s currently state Rep. She was defeated in August in the primary. In the primary.

Bowman: Talk to her. Talk to Bob Ramsay. I mean, they were targeted by an education group and people were like, well, TEA spends money or the union puts money into it. And they do, they spend a little bit.

But yes, it’s an illusion. Our standards are being shaped by outsiders. The next thing, the next way that’s going to be happening, Michael, is they’re coming after the accountability model.

They’re going to redefine what it means to be accountable in our state. And the next thing you’re talking points are going to be coming.

Leahy: I think it’s all going to be like social justice junk.

Bowman: But it’s being driven by outside groups. Not even inside, not Tennesseans, but not Tennessee. And the other part is there are good things going on and you got Linda Cash coming in. And listen, you need to hear what they’re doing at the PIE Center.

Leahy: All right, I’m open-minded. I know I’m skeptical about the K-12 public schools, but we’ll see what Dr. Linda Cash has to say.

She’s going to be with us right after the break. She’s the Bradley County Director of Schools. She’s is going to talk about the Partnership in Education Innovation Center down in Bradley County that provides hands on training.

Bowman: And it’s great.

Listen to the interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.















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One Thought to “JC Bowman Comments on Tennessee Public Education Lacking Local Control and Disbanding the Department of Education”

  1. 83ragtop50

    I am in disagreement with Mr. Bowman. All one has to do is look at the mess in Louisiana public school to confirm that strong control at the state level is not so great. Possibly Tennessee would have a better opportunity to regain control from the garbage pushing liberals if it were done at the state level and not the local level. But I really doubt it. The real solution is for parents and other taxpayers to rise up against the well-funded liberal national operation. Be proactive instead asleep and reactive. It is much easier to prevent the initial infiltration of our school boards – and county commission – than it is to remove the rot already in place. And, yes, tell your state legislators to stop taking federal money for public schools. It will not break the state treasury.