Measure Granting Tennessee School Boards Sole Authority to Close Schools Heads to Lee’s Desk

Gov. Bill Lee

A bill that will give local school boards the sole authority to close schools was approved Thursday by the Tennessee House and is on its way to Gov. Bill Lee.

Senate Bill 103, which passed the House, 85-2, makes it clear local school boards can close public or charter schools in the state, not the governor through executive orders or local health departments.

The bill, sponsored in the House by Rep. Kevin Vaughan, R-Collierville, aimed to clarify who had the authority because during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was unclear in some locales whether the county health department or local school board held the authority.

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Proposed Legislation Gives School Boards Decision-Making Authority Over School Closures During Public Emergencies

A bill filed Monday will give Tennessee school boards the ultimate decision-making authority about whether their schools should be open or closed during a public emergency. 

The filing of the legislation was accompanied by an announcement from the bill’s sponsors, Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) and Representative Kevin Vaughan (R-Collierville).

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Cumberland County Board of Education Chairman Shrugs off Question About Lifting Mask Mandates in Schools

Cumberland County students and teachers are stuck wearing facial coverings for the foreseeable future after the local school board chairman cited procedure as a reason not to reconsider their mask mandates.

During an October 22 Board of Education meeting, member Anita Hale asked if the body would ever reconsider its mask mandate. A recording of the board’s videoconference meeting is available on the Cumberland County Board of Education’s Facebook page here.

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Metro School Board Member and Plaintiff Fran Bush Says Constitutional Lawsuit Against Former Superintendent Dr. Shawn Joseph is Still Pending

The lawsuit against former Metro Nashville Public Schools superintendent Dr. Shawn Joseph and the Metro government is still pending, one of the plaintiffs, a school board member, says.

Fran Bush is one of three MNPS school board members who are suing Joseph and the Metro government. The other plaintiffs are board members Jill Speering and Amy Frogge.

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Eden Prairie School Board Member Criticizes ‘Unacceptable’ Lack of Direction from Walz Admin on Upcoming School Year

An Eden Prairie School Board member broke his silence Monday after learning that the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) won’t be releasing state guidance on the upcoming academic year until July 27.

Three scenarios are possible for the 2020-21 school year, including continued distance learning, the resumption of in-person instruction, or a mix of the two.

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Anti-Gun Group Calls for End to Active-Shooter Drills in Cincinnati Schools

An activist group is calling for an end to active-shooter drills at Cincinnati schools, arguing the readiness efforts are traumatic to students and teachers.

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More Politics and Less Proficiency Plagues the Metro Nashville School Board with Upcoming Election

Live from music row Monday 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 am to 8:00 am – Leahy was joined in studio by all-star panelists, Nashville Metro Councilman, Steve Glover, and Crom Carmicheal.

During the show, the men discussed the upcoming school board vote with the resignation of Will Pinkston and the role of the director of schools in Nashville. Glover described the position as one that needs to be acting like they are running a business more than the running of a school system. He was bewildered in seeing how administrators have put politics before the children’s education.

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Superintendent Should Report to Nashville’s Mayor, Carol Swain Tells WSMV, But Education Expert Says State Requires School Boards to Oversee Directors

  WSMV polled the four major Nashville mayoral candidates on whether the Metro Nashville Public Schools superintendent should report to the mayor instead of the school board, and only one said “Yes.” That candidate was Dr. Carol Swain. WSMV’s story is here. The Metro Nashville mayoral candidates who were polled…

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Rutherford County School Board Considers Giving School Director $60K Pay Raise

At an April 8 budget meeting of the seven-member Rutherford County School Board, the topic of a $60,000 pay increase for the Director of Schools was discussed. The director’s salary discussion consumed nearly 20 minutes of the meeting that lasted just over an hour. The current Director of Schools, Bill…

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Washington County School Board Member Arrested on Charge of Simple Assault Involving Girlfriend

A member of the Washington County Board of Education was arrested on a charge of simple assault related to his girlfriend, the Johnson City Press reported. David L. Hammond, 50, of Johnson City, was served with an arrest warrant Friday, the newspaper said. The alleged assault happened about 11:15 p.m.…

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JC Bowman Commentary: The Role of a School Board

Tennessee Star

Local school boards reflect the needs and aspirations of the communities as well as the interests and concerns of professional and nonprofessional employees. We believe non-partisan control is what is best for our communities. This is best ensured when educational policy is made by representatives vested in the community they live, and whose undivided attention and interests are devoted strictly to education of the children in that district. What we stress in a nutshell: Public education is a federal concern, a state responsibility, and a local operation.

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Commentary: Breast Feeding 101 for Educators

teacher

Health professionals and public health officials promote breastfeeding to improve infant health. Breastfeeding also provides long-term preventative effects for the mother, including an earlier return to pre-pregnancy weight and a reduced risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer and osteoporosis. It is important to note that 82% of public school teachers are female in Tennessee. Women are the predominate sex in our profession. More importantly, most of these women are of child bearing age. So this is an important topic for all stakeholders.

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