Tennessee Sen. Blackburn: White House Plans to Silence Critics in Run-Up to 2022

Sen. Blackburn: White House

Speaking to iHeartRadio host Sara Carter on Thursday, Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn condemned the Biden administration’s professed “flagging” of what it terms “disinformation” regarding COVID-19 for social-media companies.

“What they’ve set up is basically a premise that if your message is not government-approved, then what you’re going to experience is state-sponsored censorship….” Blackburn said.

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Host Leahy Questions Whether Gov. Lee Is Aware of His State’s Own Health Policy on the Mature Minor Doctrine

Gov. Bill Lee

  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 discussed the firing of vaccine chief, Dr. Michelle Fiscus, and Governor Lee’s statement, which exposed his…

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Dr. K. Talks About the Tremendous Change of Dynamics in College Athletics

Aerial view of Bryant Denny Stadium, in Tuscaloosa,AL, USA

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Sports with Dr. K. to the newsmakers line to talk about the change in college athletics as players reach professional levels and endorsements.

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Crom Carmichael Weighs in on the Mississippi Case That Challenges the Constitutionality of the 2018 Abortion Law

Crowd at the March For Life protest in D.C.

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to weigh in on the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case regarding the constitutionality of the Mississippi abortion law of 2018.

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Crom Carmichael on Democrat Party’s Love of Authoritarian Government and Inconsistencies About January 6 Riots

Pro-Cuban government protesters

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio to weigh in on Antony Blinken’s weak response to Cuba and the many questions surrounding the Capitol Hill riots on January sixth.

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Wall Street Expert Liz Peek Outlines the Consequences of Raise Increases and Democrat Power Grabs at the Expense of the American Taxpayer

Conservative news analyst Liz Peek

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Wall Street expert and Fox Business contributor Liz Peek to the newsmakers line to discuss the consequences of reckless budget spending, raise increases, and inflation.

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Senator Blackburn Introduces Bill Aimed to Expand Health Care Access in Rural Areas

U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) worked with Senator John Hickenlooper (D-CO) to introduce legislation with the goal of expanding access to quality health care for rural Americans across the country.

The Rural Health Innovation Act would incentivize communities to prioritize urgent care needs by providing numerous grant programs to these areas.

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Knoxville City Council to Appoint Members to African American Equity Restoration Task Force

Knoxville City Council will appoint its first members to the African American Equity Restoration Task Force during its meeting next Tuesday. The task force will consist of the following members: George Underwood, Enkeshi El-Amin, Brandon Hardin, Regina Olum, Anderson Olds, Dave Miller, Deborah Porter, Matthew Best, Tanisha Fitzgerald Baker, Bill Lyons, Stanley Taylor, and Gwen McKenzie. 

These members were selected from applicants that qualified as business, community, financial, educational, faith, health care, youth, and city leaders. According to the council documents, the task force will determine its organizational and leadership structure during its first meeting. 

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State Senator Says Tennessee Children Could Still Get COVID-19 Vaccine Without Parental Consent, but Only in Rare Circumstances

State Sen. Kerry Roberts (R-Springfield) on Friday accused the media of trying to drive a wedge between him and Tennessee Department of Health (TDOH) Commissioner Lisa Piercey when it comes to giving the COVID-19 vaccine to children. Roberts co-chairs the legislature’s Joint Government Operations Committee. He voiced concerns this week about state officials administering the vaccine to children without parental consent. Roberts said Thursday that he and Piercey agreed that administering the COVID-19 vaccine to children — without parental consent — violates TDOH policy.

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Tennessee State Building Commission Votes to Remove Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Bust

Tennessee’s State Building Commission voted Thursday to remove Confederate Army General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s bust from the State Capitol building. 

The statue will be relocated to the Tennessee State Museum, along with the busts of Admirals David Farragut and Albert Gleaves.

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Knox County Schools Approved East Tennessee State University Dual Enrollment Course That Taught Critical Race Theory

ETSU Library

Knox County Schools (KCS) approved a dual enrollment course from East Tennessee State University (ETSU) that has historically taught critical race theory. The KCS board of education approved the course offering, “SOWK 1030: Cultural Diversity,” as part of a larger list of ETSU dual enrollment courses during their meeting last week.

The course is characterized as pre-professional social work curriculum focused on social justice topics such as “diversity within diversity,” referring to intersectionality – a concept coined by preeminent critical race theory scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw.

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Thales Academy Franklin’s Principal Rachael Bradley Talks the School’s Successes and the Next Open House August 5

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Thales Academy-Franklin Principal Rachael Bradley to the newsmakers line to discuss their continued success and upcoming open house Thursday, August fifth at 6 pm.

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All Star Panelist Roger Simon Paints Grim Future for New York City and Its Mayoral Race

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Roger Simon in studio to discuss New York City’s dangerous present, disappointing future, and the upcoming mayoral race.

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Knoxville City Council Considering Zero-Tolerance Policy on Racism and Sexism by Any City Employee

Knoxville City Council will be considering a zero-tolerance policy on racism and sexism displayed by any city employee.

Council member Amelia Parker announced that she is drafting the policy. This latest initiative follows a similar policy proposed in the wake of George Floyd’s death last year by community activists, and agreed upon by Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon. That initiative never came to fruition. Concerning last year’s similar proposal, Parker said in an email that the lack of follow-through from Kincannon was disappointing.

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Tennessee Attorney General Joins Amicus Brief in 2nd Amendment Supreme Court Case

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery joined a coalition of 26 other states to file an amicus brief in the first 2nd Amendment Supreme Court case in over a decade, according to his office.

The group, led by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, is supporting the challenge to the state of New York’s concealed carry laws in the case New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Corlett.

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All Star Panelist Roger Simon Weighs in on Liz Cheney and the Defense of Her Father’s Legacy

Dick Cheney

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Roger Simon in studio who discussed Liz Cheney’s siding with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the protection of her father’s legacy.

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Rep. Tim Burchett Introduces Bill to Eliminate Backlog of Passport Applications

U.S. Representative Tim Burchett (R-TN-02) joined a group of bipartisan lawmakers to introduce legislation to help eliminate the current processing backlog of U.S. passport applications.

As economies around the world slowly begin to reopen, the State Department has witnessed a dramatic surge in passport applications and renewals, which has led to a jam of close to 2.2 million applications and has greatly extended the time to receive the document required for international travel.

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Tennessee Tourism Commissioner Apologizes for Rollout of ‘Tennessee on Me’

While speaking to state lawmakers at a committee hearing on Wednesday, commissioner for the Department of Tourist Development Mark Ezell apologized for the sudden rollout of the ‘Tennessee on Me’ tourism initiative. 

The program, introduced by Governor Bill Lee, awards $250 of taxpayer funds to out-of-state visitors who book a two-night stay in one of Tennessee’s five largest cities.

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State Sen. Kerry Roberts Clears Up Misinformation About COVID-19 Vaccinations for Children in Tennessee

Tennessee State Sen. Kerry Roberts (R-Springfield), who co-chairs the legislature’s Joint Government Operations Committee, this week said he had to clear up misinformation about administering the COVID-19 vaccine to children throughout the state. Roberts said in an emailed statement that he and certain other committee members worried Tennessee had marketed the vaccine to minors and administered it without parental consent.

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Tennessee Rep. Kustoff Condemns Ben & Jerry’s Boycott of Jewish West Bank Settlements

Ben & Jerry's ice cream shop

Calling Israel America’s “greatest ally in the Middle East,” Representative David Kustoff (R-TN-8) on Tuesday decried the decision of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Company to cease selling its products in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and contested parts of East Jerusalem. 

“This shouldn’t even be a debate,” he told Sean Spicer and co-host Lyndsay Keith on a broadcast of Newsmax’s Spicer & Co. “They shouldn’t have started this controversy.” 

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Author of the Magna Carta of Humanity Os Guinness Talks Facing Marxism and Escaping Mao’s China

Os Guinness

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed author of The Magna Carta of Humanity Os Guinness to the newsmakers line to talk about cultural Marxism in America, free speech of the 60s, and escaping Communist China.

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Great Thinker and Author Os Guinness Shares His Past and Sustaining Freedom in America

Os Guinness

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed author Os Guinness on the newsmaker line to discuss his past, inspirations, and his admiration for America.

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Tennessee Officials to Help Install Electric Vehicle Chargers at State Parks, but Won’t Cite Demand

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) officials announced Wednesday they have entered a partnership to install charging stations for Electric Vehicles (EVs) at all 56 state parks. But, when asked, TDEC officials would not discuss how or whether the demand for these charging stations exceeds any possible costs to the state or anyone else.

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Crom Carmichael on COVID Insurrectionists of Texas and the Public Affair Between the White House and Facebook

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to discuss the silent but public partnership of the Biden administration and Facebook, and the Texas Democrats who spread COVID.

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Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe and the Factors of Chuck Schumer’s Invisible Infrastructure Bill

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmakers line to discuss Chuck Schumer and the invisible infrastructure bill.

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Emergency Hospitals Created in Nashville and Memphis for COVID Patients Decommissioned Having Treated No COVID Cases

According to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), the now deconstructed Memphis and Nashville COVID-19 overflow emergency hospitals, created with a $51 million federal grant, never treated a single patient.

The facilities were intended to receive patients with “low to moderate acuity” cases of the novel coronavirus but with too high severity to warrant discharge home. They anticipated that patients would stay an average of four days.

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Annual ‘Crime in Tennessee’ Publication Says COVID-19 Affected Crime Numbers

David Rausch TBI

Members of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) this week released the agency’s 2020 Crime in Tennessee publication, which reported that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the state’s crime numbers. The publication details the volume and nature of crime, as reported by Tennessee’s law enforcement agencies, according to a TBI press release.

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Rep. John Rose Joins Bipartisan Group of Colleagues Urging Reopening of International Travel

Representative John Rose (R-TN-06) tweeted Monday in support of a bipartisan group of fellow congresspersons asking President Biden to more quickly reopen travel to the U.S.

“We should fully reopen international travel to the U.S.,” Rose wrote. “I joined with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to urge President Biden to reopen travel to the U.S. in order to accelerate our economic recovery.”

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Nashville Nursing Home Loses License over Health Code Violations

Azalea Trace Assisted Living

After multiple complaints and health code violations, the Tennessee Department of Health (DOH) has temporarily revoked the license of Azalea Trace Assisted Living in Nashville.

That order said the nursing facility was closed to new patients as of February 1, 2021, while the DOH investigates and eventually hands down a punishment. 

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Tennessee Firearms Association Files as Amicus Party in 2nd Amendment Supreme Court Case

The Tennessee Firearms Association joined the Second Amendment Foundation in an amicus brief for a 2nd Amendment Supreme Court case.

According to the court, the ruling from the issues presented in the case could have significance to potential future challenges to Tennessee’s permitting and permitless carry laws.

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Andy Ogles Explains Penny Schwinn’s Egregious Well-Being Initiative That Is Rearing Its Ugly Head in Tennessee Curriculum

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Mayor Andy Ogles to the studio to reexamine his successful stifling of the well-being initiative that was instigated by Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn.

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Grant Henry and Mayor Ogles Weigh in on the ‘Inherently Self-Refuting’ Spending of Democrats

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Grant Henry and Mayor Ogles in studio to discuss the reckless spending and anti-business sentiment of the Democrats.

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Americans for Prosperity’s Grant Henry Fired Up on Infrastructure Calls to Sign Notaroadsbill.com’s Petition

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed American’s for prosperity’s grassroots director Grant Henry in studio to discuss the Fiat currency of today’s intended infrastructure bill that has yet to be written.

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Host of ‘Pensive Politics’ Christian Watson Talks About Color Us United and His Recent Op-Ed

Christian Watson

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the host of Pensive Politics Christian Watson to the newsmakers line to talk about Color Us United, critical race theory, and the woke ideologies of Blackness

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Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles Talks Booming Growth Ignited by Manufacturing Industry in the County

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Mayor Andy Ogles in studio to discuss the economic growth initiated by manufacturing and automotive distribution in Maury County.

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Tennessee AFL-CIO Rallies at Sens. Blackburn and Hagerty’s Nashville Offices for Bill Outlawing Right-to-Work

Tennessee AFL-CIO

Tennessee’s AFL-CIO chapter rallied Tuesday afternoon outside the Nashville offices of Republican Senators Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty in favor of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act.

The legislation would forbid states from maintaining right-to-work policies which allow workers who chose not to join a union to decline to pay union dues. The bill would also redefine many independent contractors as employees for purposes of collective bargaining—thus placing what many consider a heavy burden on freelancers—and would impose numerous other pro-union provisions. 

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Senator Marsha Blackburn Questions Biden Administration Collaboration With Big Tech

Marsha Blackburn Big Tech

Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) called on the Biden administration to explain the extent of their collaboration with Big Tech companies to censor individuals on social media.

Blackburn’s letter comes after White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki indicated that the administration has worked with Big Tech to limit “misinformation” regarding COVID-19.

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Nearly 30 New Tennessee Virtual Schools OK’d for Upcoming School Year

Young boy on desktop computer doing virtual learning with video chat

The Tennessee Department of Education has announced 29 new virtual schools have been created and approved to begin for the 2021-22 school year.

The new schools bring the state’s total to 57 virtual schools in operation across the state. Tennessee public schools have continued to add more virtual learning options, beginning with 2011 legislation and an added emphasis during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The virtual schools are created, operated and overseen by a local school district and hold students to the same academic standards as in-person schools, but the virtual schools provide all or most of their education remotely.

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Crom Carmichael Discusses Two Great Americans and the Character of the Country

Woman and man covered up in American flag

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to discuss the recent deaths of two entrepreneurs that embodied the American character.

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Crom Carmichael on White Liberals Versus What Black Americans Really Think and the Fascism of China

The skyline of Shanghai, China, at night

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to compare the differing views of White liberals with Black Americans and the fascism of China.

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Arizona GOP Candidate for Governor Kari Lake: ‘It’s Time for All of Us Americans to Stand up and Do the Right Thing’

Kari Lake of Arizona

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed GOP Candidate for the Arizona gubernatorial race Kari Lake to the newsmakers line to describe her motivation for running, her values, and her grassroots campaign.

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Common Sense Conservative Carol Swain Talks NFL and Her New August Book Release, ‘Black Eye for America’

Carol Swain

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Dr. Carol Swain to the newsmakers line to discuss the woke NFL, critical race theory, her new book and offered advice to MNPS.

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Former U.S. Sen. Bob Corker Talks About Tea Partiers in New Interview with ‘The Atlantic’

Former Sen. Rob Corker

Former U.S. Republican Sen. Bob Corker this granted an exclusive interview to The Atlantic, and he used the occasion to voice his differences with the Tea Party. This, while the writer of the article, Emma Green, touted Corker as someone who called out the “racism” and “moral failings of the Republican Party.

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Tennessee U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen Demands Equity Programs in All State Departments of Education

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN-09) this week introduced a bill that he said will increase diversity in Advanced Placement (AP) and Gifted and Talented Elementary (GT) classes. In a press release, Cohen also said his bill would use Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) funding to create equity offices in state departments of education to increase diversity in AP and GT programs.

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Former Memphis Day Care Director Sentenced for Falsifying Food Program Documents

Lowndes County School Buses

A former Memphis day care director was sentenced to one year and a day in federal prison for submitting false documents to the Tennessee Department of Human Services.

Fifty-five-year-old Ollie Stephenson of Germantown pleaded guilty to a criminal information charge after being accused of submitting a false Regions Bank statement and food invoice to the department in an audit during April and May 2020. Stephenson also was ordered to pay $375,158.80 in restitution.

Stephenson was the director of Louise’s Learning Tree Daycare Center in Memphis. It was part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Child and Adult Care Feeding Program.

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Tennessee Spends Nearly $4M Annually to Educate Unaccompanied Minors

Tennessee has spent nearly $60 million over 15 years educating children who entered the state as unaccompanied minors, according to the state’s Fiscal Review Committee estimates.

Krista Lee Carsner, executive director of the Tennessee General Assembly’s Fiscal Review Committee, presented her cost estimate research to the state’s Study Committee on Refugee Issues, saying 8,800 unaccompanied minors have come to live in the state since fiscal year 2015.

Carsner estimated Tennessee spent an average of $3.9 million annually on education for those minors and the highest estimated year was a cost of $13.9 million. The state also spent nearly $85,000 annually on TennCare health care costs for those minors, Carsner said.

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Governor Bill Lee’s Re-Election Campaign Hauls in Almost $685,000 During First Half of 2021

Gov. Bill Lee

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee hauled in approximately $685,000 in the first half of 2021, as the incumbent governor seeks to build his arsenal heading into 2022.

Lee’s campaign has a total of $2.4 million on hand to spend — after using $357,000 during the course of this financial filing period.

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New Unemployment Claims Jump 42 Percent in Tennessee

Nearly 9,400 new unemployment claims were filed in Tennessee last week; the highest weekly total since mid-April.

Only nine states had more new unemployment claims than Tennessee last week. The 9,376 new claims last week represented a 42% increase from the previous week’s 6,596 new claims.

The jump in new claims came after the state stopped its participation in the federal supplemental pandemic relief unemployment program, which gives those on unemployment an additional $300 weekly through the first week of September. The final two weeks of June were the lowest claims totals since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

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Average Tennessee Teacher Salary Surpasses $52,000 a Year

Tennessee Teacher Salary

The average public school classroom teacher in Tennessee made $52,596 during the 2019-20 school year, according to a new report from the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office of Research and Education Accountability.

The average salary rises to $55,210 if it includes classroom teachers and positions such as librarians, school counselors and principals, and it jumps to $55,554 if it includes all personnel in a school district with an educator’s license.

The Tennessee Department of Education’s budget was increased by $219 million in this year’s budget, which included $120 million for teacher raises, allowing teachers with no experience a staring salary of $38,000 a year or more. With an advanced degree, the minimum starting salary is $41,605.

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Clay Travis Will Headline Sen. Jack Johnson’s Boots and Jeans, BBQ and Beans Event

Clay Travis

Clay Travis, the founder of OutKick and a frequent sports analyst, will headline the annual Boots & Jeans, BBQ & Beans Event — hosted by state Senator Jack Johnson (R-Franklin).

The talk radio show host has raised his national profile over the past couple years, routinely conducting interviews with former President Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and other notable figures.

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