U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Florida, discusses her bill to set a minimum national teacher salary, on Jan 25, 2023. Adam Goldstein/States Newsroom

Teachers would get $60K minimum salary under bill in Congress making grants to states

BY: - January 27, 2023

WASHINGTON – A panel of policymakers and educators, including author Dave Eggers and former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, gathered at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday to promote the American Teacher Act.  The bill, if passed, would authorize the federal government to create four-year grants for states to enact and enforce minimum school teacher […]

Sen. Todd Gardnehire, R-Chattanooga, is sponsoring a bill to expand the use of charter school funds in Hamilton County. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Hamilton County Schools voucher bill likely to hit stumbling block

BY: - January 12, 2023

Legislation enabling the state’s private school vouchers to spread to Hamilton County Schools could run into trouble this session, at least in the House of Representatives. House Speaker Cameron Sexton isn’t expected to be a strong supporter of the legislation after voting against the education savings account program twice in 2019 when it barely passed […]

Activists call on President Biden to not resume student loan payments in February 2022 and to cancel student debt near The White House on December 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for We, The 45 Million)

New federal student loan repayment plan aimed at low-income borrowers

BY: - January 10, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Education unveiled a proposal Tuesday that would overhaul a federal student loan income-driven repayment plan, and, if implemented, could help millions of low-income borrowers. However, it’s unclear how the agency would be able to finance the program. Many student debt relief advocates also criticized the proposal for leaving out […]

(Getty Images)

Tennessee’s third-grade reading assessment law is misguided

BY: - January 9, 2023

In the glamorous world of public education, August — not January — is the genesis of a new year. Resolutions are made. Goals are set. Even the bathrooms in a middle school smell okay. I’ve never cared for August, though. There’s the awkward period of time struggling to learn students’ names and personalities. Hot weather […]

Women march in Nashville on June 24, the day the U.S, Supreme Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stories of 2022: Redistricting, legislators’ legal issues and a Black town fights government

BY: - December 28, 2022

Mason, Tennessee Last March, Tennessee Comptroller Jason Mumpower issued an unusual appeal to residents of Mason, Tenn., a small majority-Black town in West Tennessee whose finances were in complete disarray. Jason Mumpower’s suggestion that the town cede its charter, ending more than 150 years of self-governance, drew national attention after local Black leaders fought to […]

Lockeland Elementary School in Nashville. Metro Nashville Public Schools will get Title 1 funds for low-income students slashed, but got boosts from other funding sources. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Tennessee school districts lose Title I money amid shifts stemming from federal audit

BY: - December 16, 2022

Polk County Schools Director James Jones was “left in the dark completely” this week when the school district in southeast Tennessee lost $36,000 in federal funds without an explanation from the state. It appears to be part of a roughly 5% reduction statewide in money that goes toward low-income students, though some districts are reporting […]

Sen. John Lundberg, R-Bristol, chair of the Senate Education Committee, supports the current law to hold back 3rd graders who don't meet state reading standards. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Third-grade retention law could pit Republicans against each other

BY: - December 15, 2022

Amid statewide complaints about Tennessee’s third-grade retention law, legislative Republicans are likely to butt heads over efforts to tweak the measure in 2023. House Education Administration Committee Chairman Mark White, an East Memphis Republican, said this week he hopes to find middle ground between the new state law and school districts, which are complaining about […]

Rep. Mark White, R-Memphis, addressing the House of Representatives in April 2022. Chair of the House Education Administration Committee, White said plans for Hillsdale College to operate charter schools in Tennessee are "shattered." (Photo: John Partipilo)

Critics fear voucher expansion could hit multiple counties

BY: - December 13, 2022

Two key House members confirmed they will bring legislation in 2023 to spread the state’s Education Savings Account program to Hamilton County, a move that could launch expansion into two other counties as well. House Education Administration Committee Chairman Mark White told the Tennessee Lookout this week he plans to sponsor the House version of […]

Derryberry Hall at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville, Tennessee. (Photo: Tennessee Tech Facebook)

Tennessee Tech professors lose First Amendment case against university

BY: - December 13, 2022

A federal judge has denied a request by two Tennessee Tech professors to overturn disciplinary action levied against them after the pair posted fliers on campus calling a fellow professor a ‘racist.’  Julia Gruber, Ph.D. a tenured professor of German at the Cookeville university, and Andrew Smith, a tenured instructor in the English department, alleged […]

U.S. Rep.Andy Ogles voted for Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan rather than frontrunner Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California for House Speaker. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Ogles draws warnings from Federal Election Commission

BY: - December 9, 2022

The Federal Election Commission is threatening U.S. Rep.-elect Andy Ogles with an audit or other enforcement if he fails to fix discrepancies in his campaign finance report. The agency sent Ogles’ treasurer, Thomas Datwyler, letters Dec. 6 listing a litany of problems within the campaign’s report. Those include incorrect totals and information that deflates his […]

Sen. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga, is questioning Gov. Bill Lee's no-bid contracts. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Chattanooga senator wants private school vouchers expanded to Hamilton County

BY: - December 8, 2022

State Sen. Todd Gardenhire, assured that the state’s education savings account program cleared legal hurdles, has filed legislation to expand private school vouchers to the Hamilton County school district. Senate Bill 12 would enable the state program to include qualifying students in districts with at least five schools in the bottom 10% of the state […]

The University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in Memphis. (Facebook)

University of Tennessee Health Science Center expands options for pharmacy students

BY: - December 7, 2022

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center plans to expand options for first year pharmacy students on its Nashville and Knoxville campuses beginning in Fall 2023.  Presently, all pharmacy students must spend their first semester on the flagship Memphis campus and have the option of transferring to either the Nashville or Knoxville campuses.  Courses will […]