The Look in Brief

Tennessee Legislature releases schedule for hearings on rejecting federal education money

By: - November 3, 2023 6:02 am
Members of the Tennessee House of Representatives greeting each other on opening day of session. Jan. 9, 2023.(Photo: John Partipilo)

Tennessee state lawmakers in April 2022. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Tennessee’s special committee to study the use and potential rejection of nearly $2 billion in federal education dollars will meet five times, receiving input from seven different groups, at its hearings scheduled to start Monday.

Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, and Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridged created the committee in September to study whether the state could afford to reject federal education dollars. Tennessee received $1.89 billion in federal funds for schools last year, but that money could shrink slightly once money tied to COVID-19 relief funds for schools dries up. 

Sexton said he thought the state should look into rejecting the funds because of mandates by the federal education department tied to the money.

But, neither Sexton nor McNally has yet to tell reporters what federal mandates or restrictions they oppose. 

State Sen. Jon Lundberg, R-Bristol, and state Rep. Debra Moody, R-Covington, are co-chairs of the special committee. 

The rest of its members are state Reps. John Ragan, R-Oak Ridge; Timothy Hill, R-Blountville; William Slater, R-Gallatin; and Ronnie Glynn, D-Clarksville. And Sens. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald; Bill Powers, R-Clarksville; and Raumesh Akbari, D-Memphis.

The schedule is the following:

Monday, Nov. 6, starting at 2:00 p.m.

  • Tennessee Comptroller’s Office of Research and Education Accountability
  • Tennessee’s Fiscal Review Committee

Tuesday, Nov. 7, from 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. 

  • The Sycamore Institute 
  • Input from the Hawkins County Schools director of schools, Jackson-Madison County School System superintendent and Memphis-Shelby County Schools interim superintendent. 

Wednesday, Nov. 8, from 9-11 a.m.

  • The U.S. Department of Education
  • The National Conference of State Legislatures

Tuesday, Nov. 14, from 9-11 a.m.  

  • Tennessee Department of Education

Wednesday, Nov. 15, from 9-11 a.m.  

  • Tennessee Comptroller’s Office of Research and Education Accountability

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Adam Friedman
Adam Friedman

Adam Friedman is a reporter with the Tennessee Lookout. He has a particular love for data and using numbers to explain all kinds of topics. If you have a story idea, he'd love to hear it. Email him at [email protected] or call him at 615-249-8509.