Marta W. Aldrich, Chalkbeat Tennessee

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Five education issues to watch as Tennessee’s legislature reconvenes this week

Education dominated legislative debate last year under Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, and it’s likely to be a front-burner issue again as lawmakers return this week in the second year of his administration. But don’t expect the ferocity sparked by the 2019 voucher bill, which squeaked...

Hamilton County Schools drops funding lawsuit against Tennessee, leaving Memphis and Nashville to pursue

A lawsuit charging that Tennessee underfunds its schools by hundreds of millions of dollars has been dismissed, while a separate education funding case is inching closer to trial in 2020. Hamilton County Schools quietly dropped its 5-year-old lawsuit against the state last week in a...

‘It’s important not to rush’ education voucher program, says Memphis lawmaker urging a pause

Complexities emerging about possible tax implications of education savings accounts have at least one lawmaker urging the legislature to interrupt Gov. Bill Lee’s plan to launch the controversial program next fall, a year earlier than required by law. Sen. Raumesh Akbari called Tuesday for legislators...

High lead levels found in the water at 10 Memphis schools

Ten public schools in Memphis had high levels of lead in at least one water source on their campus, based on testing conducted last month for the first time under a new state law. Most of the 18 sources were drinking fountains, but some were...

Schwinn retreats — for now — from changing how Tennessee judges its schools

Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn says she is backing off from pursuing changes to the way Tennessee judges its public schools this school year. Schwinn gave a brief update publicly last week to the state Board of Education when Vice Chairman Bob Eby inquired about the...

One in three Tennessee teachers wants to leave the profession, survey says

A third of Tennessee teachers say they would leave the profession for a higher-paying job and also would choose a different career if given a do-over, according to the results of a new statewide survey. At the same time, three-fourths of teachers who responded to...

Tennessee school turnaround models either haven’t worked or are stalling out, new research finds

Tennessee’s state-run model for school turnaround hasn’t worked, according to new research, which also casts doubt on another locally run school-improvement program in Memphis. The Achievement School District, or ASD, created to turn around Tennessee’s lowest-performing schools, has not generated improvements to student achievement during...

From civics to vaping, here are 10 education laws taking effect July 1 in Tennessee

Tennessee students will have to pass a U.S. civics test to earn their high school diploma, while all teachers must learn about human trafficking under dozens of new state laws that take effect July 1.  Public education was a favorite subject of many of the...

As funding shrinks reading program, Tennessee governor says literacy remains a priority

Gov. Bill Lee says he’s reevaluating Tennessee’s literacy strategies as funding dries up for the state’s popular initiative known as Read to be Ready. The Republican governor said Tuesday he was disappointed that a federal grant that has paid for reading camps the last two...

Here’s the No. 1 concern that Tennessee’s new education chief heard during her statewide listening tour

After visiting classrooms in 30 school districts across the state, talking regularly with superintendents and other stakeholders, and reviewing more than 25,000 comments from teachers, Tennessee’s new education commissioner says one theme keeps emerging: the need to support the mental health needs of students. “Without...