Tennessee Congressional Delegation Urges Biden to Approve Emergency Declaration

Gov. Bill Lee

All members of Tennessee’s congressional delegation signed on to a letter urging President Joe Biden to approve an emergency declaration submitted by Governor Bill Lee.

The declaration, which was presented in early December, follows destruction from severe weather that impacted residents in Tennessee and Kentucky.

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Supreme Court Rejects NYC Teachers’ Request to Stop Vaccine Mandate

U.S. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Friday declined to block New York City’s vaccine mandate for public schools following a petition brought by a group of teachers.

According to The Hill, the group of New York City teachers asked for an emergency injunction on Thursday, following a lower court’s ruling that permitted the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate to take effect this coming Monday.

The group argued that many teachers would lose their jobs if the Supreme Court didn’t intervene.

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Tennessee Investing $4.2 Billion in K-12 Public Schools Using Federal Funds

The Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) announced that it will invest an additional $4.2 billion for K-12 schools. The federal funds will be allocated to Tennessee schools over the next 4 years, according to the TDOE press release. The funding is a combination of different types of federal emergency relief funding.

TDOE clarified that the funding will be allotted to specific programs and initiatives. $120.7 million will go toward the Tennessee Literacy Success Act and Reading 360, $170.5 million for the Tennessee Learning Loss and Student Acceleration Act, $35 million for the 2022-23 math textbook adoption process, $32 million for online resources, $32.6 million for Innovating High Schools and Advanced Courses, $17.8 million for mental health supports, $56.5 million for K-12 open-source readiness coursework and statewide professional development, and $21 million to support the educator pipeline.

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Governor Lee Extends State of Emergency Through End of Year

Governor Bill Lee has officially extended the state of emergency for the remainder of 2020.
The executive order followed Lee’s own quarantine due to exposure from the coronavirus. The extension of the order means that Tennessee will receive further federal funding, mayors can continue to implement their own guidelines, and government officials can continue to meet virtually.

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