The speaker and lieutenant governor have confirmed their respective chambers will aide the governor’s quest to raise standards in our classrooms. Last week, major legislation was advanced to that end in the House.
On Thursday, in a landslide vote of 64-32, the teacher tenure reform legislation easily won approval in the House. The bill’s sponsor said, “We said last fall that we would do what it takes to make Tennessee the No. 1 destination for high-quality jobs in the South. That included top-to-bottom reforms in business regulation and education. This is yet another promise kept to Tennesseans that we are committed to bringing accountability to the classroom to ensure every student is led by a great teacher.”
The House majority leader added, “The governor laid out a clear vision for raising standards and bringing more accountability to our educational system. We’ve done just that with passage of this legislation. With high-performing teachers, our students will receive the training and skills they need to be successful in the workforce. That means more and better jobs for Tennesseans.”
On Wednesday, the charter school initiative started its legislative trek. The House Education Subcommittee held debate on the legislation and is expected to vote on the measure next week. The legislation will do away with the current restriction on the number of charter schools allowed in Tennessee and provide greater access to a quality education to Tennessee students. These measures, along with other initiatives moving through the House, will ultimately lead to a more diverse and skilled workforce in Tennessee, bringing in more businesses and jobs to the Volunteer State.
with Equal Access’ bill
moving through the House
The House moved legislation touted as a “new way forward” on education reform this week by joining the Senate in passing HB 130 out of the House Education Committee. The pro-teacher legislation gives a voice to all teachers who have not had a voice in education negotiations over matters in the classroom. The bill, like many other common sense measures working their way through the Legislature, promotes student achievement and allows teachers to be rewarded for excellence in the classroom through items like merit pay.
The bill calls for a collaborative effort at the education negotiating table between all interested stakeholders and allows for “equal access” to all professional teaching associations. The governor recently stated his support for the measure because it, “gives superintendents greater flexibility in making personnel decisions and supports my central focus of doing what’s best for children in Tennessee classrooms.” The bill now moves on to the Budget Committee for consideration.
(Editor’s Note: Rep. Kevin Brooks serves the 24th Legislative District in Cleveland and Bradley County. He and his wife, Kim, are actively involved in their community and local schools with their two children, Zach, who is attending Lee University, and Elizabeth who attends Cleveland High.)