Members of Tennessee Stands said this week that Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and members of the state legislature should prioritize students — and not school district budgets — during the upcoming special session on education.
Tennessee Stands is a nonprofit based out of Williamson County.
“We support the governor’s decision to prioritize the issues facing our schools across the state because they are significant and our children are suffering,” said Tennessee Stands spokesman Gary Humble, in an emailed newsletter to members.
“However, so far we have only heard talk of bills that hold harmless teachers and school districts because of a failing education system and a drop in student enrollment. Let us be clear. We are uninterested in holding anyone harmless for the damage that has been done to our education system, students and families because of the botched response of our state LEAs and superintendents during this season of government insanity. How about a bill that holds families harmless? How about a bill that provides support to students? Our students are the priority! Not the school district’s inflated budget.”
As The Tennessee Star reported this week, Lee called on the Tennessee General Assembly to convene for a special legislative session to address what he said were “urgent issues facing Tennessee students and schools.” The governor wants to schedule the special session to start on January 19 of next year to discuss the 2021-22 school year, the press release said.
Lee said on his Facebook page Tuesday that the special session will address learning loss, funding, accountability, literacy, and teacher pay.
Humble said in his newsletter that he and other members of Tennessee Stands “are watching.”
“The biggest travesty that we have heard so far is a bill that would pass the same monies to school districts across the state even though they have seen a drop in enrollment due to parents pulling their children from public education to opt for homeschooling or private schools. Who is this benefiting? Certainly not taxpayers who clearly observed how the public school system failed their children due to their response to COVID-19,” Humble said.
“Many parents realized early on that virtual learning and masking was doomed for failure and removed their children immediately. But what has been the response of some legislators? Steal their tax dollars and give them to failing schools.”
Tennessee Stands, according to its website, focuses on individual liberties.
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