Lee releases special session legislation

Gov. Bill Lee delivers his first State of the State address in Nashville on March 4, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Gov. Bill Lee is releasing the Republican’s package of bills to be taken up by lawmakers in a special session scheduled to begin on Tuesday.

Here’s the release from the governor’s office:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced special session legislation addressing K-12 student learning loss and the adverse effects on Tennessee students’ proficiency in reading and math after extended time away from the classroom due to COVID-19.

“COVID-19 has disrupted every aspect of education and we are on the cusp of severe consequences for our students if we don’t act now,” said Gov. Lee. “Data suggests that Tennessee third graders are facing an estimated 50% drop in reading proficiency and a projected 65% drop in math proficiency and that is not an acceptable path for our kids[1]. I thank Lt. Gov. McNally, Speaker Sexton and members of the General Assembly for acting quickly on behalf of our students and taking up intervention measures during the special session.”

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reports that only 34% of Tennessee students are proficient or advanced readers by fourth grade. Research shows that students who do not achieve reading proficiency by third grade are more likely to drop out of high school, be incarcerated or experience poverty as adults.

In addition to learning loss interventions and accountability hold harmless measures, Gov. Lee will propose adding funding for teacher salaries.

“Educators across the state are working tirelessly to turn the tide for their students and help them regain critical math and reading skills,” said Gov. Lee. “We believe they should be compensated for their efforts and look forward to working with the General Assembly to provide funding for our teachers.”

Intervening to Stop Learning Loss – SB 7002

  • Requires interventions for struggling students including after-school learning mini-camps, learning loss bridge camps and summer learning camps, beginning summer 2021
  • Program prioritizes students who score below proficient in both reading (ELA) and math subjects
  • Creates the Tennessee Accelerated Literacy and Learning Corps to provide ongoing tutoring for students throughout the entire school year
  • Strengthens laws around a third grade reading gate so we no longer advance students who are not prepared

Building Better Readers with Phonics – SB 7003

  • Ensures local education agencies (LEAs) use a phonics-based approach for kindergarten through third grade reading instruction
  • Establishes a reading screener for parents and teachers to identify when students need help, well before third grade
  • Provides training and support for educators to teach phonics-based reading instruction

Accountability to Inform – SB 7001

  • Extends hold harmless provisions from the 2019-20 school year to the 2020-21 school year so that students, teachers, schools and districts do not face any negative consequences associated with student assessments
  • Provides parents and educators with assessment data including TCAP testing to provide an accurate picture of where Tennessee students are and what supports are needed to offset any learning losses

61 Responses to Lee releases special session legislation

  • Avatar
    Martin D Kennedy says:

    Is this paid from the federal grant money (Reading 360) stuff? All of it paid via federal money?

    Anyone know? Eric?

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      Beatrice Shaw says:

      Im Glad the federal government is keeping this burden off the local taxpayer Good to know the Biden wave of relief is starting to flow. We HAVE to have more money in education

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    James White says:

    The United States Supreme Court decided that Congress may regulate whatever it subsidizes, Wickard v. Filburn, 87 L. ed. 122, 1942; and since it is impossible for either a state or a taxpayer to question the constitutionality of a congressional appropriation, Congress may bring any subject within its regulatory jurisdiction by the simple expedient of voting a subsidy for it, Frothingham v. Mellon, 67 L. ed. 1078, 1923. – “The Conservative American” – Clarence Manion, 1964.

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    Saba says:

    Hummm sounds like he has been talking with Biden. Biden and many other Nations use the phrase “Build Back Better” Lee used the phrase “ Build Back” too much of a coincidence. Plus many other Countries that are for a one world everything also uses the phrase “Build Back Better”

    • Avatar
      Cryan says:

      Ok, Qaren.

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      MARLE says:

      Is that how they, these one-worlders, conclude their devil worshiping, child trafficking, cannibal session….by saying “build back better”? Where do you get this. What media outlets are filling your mush mind with this stuff?

  • Avatar
    Jane says:

    “Data suggests that Tennessee third graders are facing an estimated 50% drop in reading proficiency and a projected 65% drop in math proficiency”

    I would like a link to the source of this data

    • Avatar
      MARLE says:

      A 3d grader has had Pre-K, K, 1st and 2d grade. To imagine that one year of distance learning can erode 50-65% of fundamental learning really suggests there wasn’t much of a solid foundation.

      Another year of this and they will be back to where they were at age 3

      • Avatar
        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        To think I managed to live a modestly successful life after starting school as a sheltered only child beginning in the FIRST GRADE!!!! Perhaps that’s how I became a free thinking conservative, the Government School Trust didn’t get hold of me until relatively late in my development so my mind had a chance to mature before the indoctrination began.

        • Avatar
          Taxpayer #314 says:

          Some people, after reading your comments, might think that perhaps it was that fall off the monkey-bars on the playground in Kindergarten might be responsible for how you became a “free thinking Conservative.”

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            If you say so, but they be WRONG. To repeat, I never attended kindergarten and I grew up on the mean streets of an urban community so no monkey bars. Nothing except reading, writing, and arithmetic. An austere setting, but one apparently perfect for producing a free thinking conservative blessed as I was with a reasonably high IQ and the right temperament along with a loving mother who was. . .think Beatrice Shaw on her non Madame Defarge days.

        • Avatar
          Jonathan Swift says:

          Once again Stuart lets us know what a great person he became, despite horrendous challenges as a child. It’s a feel-good story that always brightens our day.

          • Avatar
            Cryan says:

            And I thought Trump was a narcissist.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            No “once again” about it Jonathan. I am hesitant to tell my heart rending story even though it has a most inspirational happy ending. It’s only after Taxpayer mistakenly identified me with kindergarten and monkey bars that I felt the need to set the record straight.

          • Avatar
            Jonathan Swift says:

            On January 11, 2020, Stuart said: “I have been listening to both sides of every issue since growing up in a very liberal city in the household of a very liberal family way before there was a Firing Line. That doesn’t prevent me from having a consistent world view which leads me to policy preferences that reflect that worldview.”

            So yeah, Stuart, once again. Seems like the Trump habit of prevarication has rubbed off on you.

          • Avatar
            Jonathan Swift says:

            Edit: January 11, 2021.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            You missed the point Jonathan, and not for the first time I must say, the insight into my fascinating background that I provided yesterday FOR THE FIRST TIME is the fact that I never attended pre-school or kindergarten in response to MARLE’S post about that very topic and I did not have ready access to monkey bars in response to Taxpayer’s post alleging that I did. This blog is not about me so I only speak about myself when encouraged to do so by my friends or only when absolutely necessary to make a point.

          • Avatar
            Jonathan Swift says:

            Please, Stuart, enough with the obfuscation and denial. My point, which you are obviously incapable of understanding, was that you have talked about your very unfascinating childhood in at least 2 posts. Hence the term “once again.”

            You try to make this blog about you constantly.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            This blog is about Tennessee politics, I comment about the articles in this blog just like everyone else. I mention personal experiences when they are relevant to the topic at hand, just like everyone else. I have a consistent world view which I express in my responses and replies, just like everyone else who expresses themselves in more than one or two sentence.

            That I annoy you or others Jonathan, I can understand. I don’t annoy easily, but there are one or two on this forum who annoy me. I’m afraid, however, you we both will have to (a) put up with it, or (b) stop reading offerings from those who annoy us, or (c) stop reading political blogs altogether.

    • Avatar
      Jean says:

      Amen.

    • Avatar
      James White says:
  • Avatar
    Beckie says:

    Third grade retention bill is a bad idea

  • Avatar
    Jonathan Swift says:

    I can’t wait for Stuart to also blame this on “dodgy demographics.”

    • Avatar
      Cryan says:

      Yeah, but don’t worry. Lynn Weaver is Vice Chair of the Education Instruction Committee. Finally kids will learn that the Holocaust never happened.

    • Avatar
      MARLE says:

      yeah…..the dodgy demographics rap is going to be something to look forward to.

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Actually I understand that the Chinese have amongst the highest IQ’s in the world. No my friends, the Chinese Flu cannot be blamed on “dodgy demographics” and it’s really a little ridiculous to attempt to do so.

      • Avatar
        MARLE says:

        It said TN 3d graders. Not CT 3d graders. The Pandemic is in both TN and CT so that’s not the issue for such a profound erosion of attainment.

      • Avatar
        Jane says:

        My third grader just scored 43 out of 45 on her math assessment and she’s been in virtual all year. This has to do with how prepared they came to third grade, which would not have anything to do with the Rino virus.

        Where is the link to the data? 2nd request. Pretty sure you have to have sources here.

        • Avatar
          MARLE says:

          Does her score represent an increase in performance? If not what loss does it represent?

          Obviously one child does not a reliable statistic make. It is anecdotal.

        • Avatar
          MARLE says:

          This 50-65% data point is Gov Lee. Why do you want the blogger here to give you a link to Gov Lee’s assertion? Call the Gov’s office.

          • Avatar
            Jane says:

            not an acceptable path for our kids[1].

            The [1] implies a source but does not link to anything. I was a tutor in Davidson and all surrounding counties for over 10 years and would like to see the reference data.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            Yes I would like to see it also.

        • Avatar
          Jane says:

          The reference to my child is it’s implication that an AVERAGE decrease of 50 to 65% is almost statistically impossible, if there are children who are improving.

          I have seen from the beginning the national and state level pressure to send children to school, while they refuse to arrange testing of any kind. I have confirmed that the schools receive the same funding for virtual children as they do for in-person, but we have not received any supplies of any kind other than workbooks. There are no live related art classes or any supplies while I have I asked multiple times. I have heard not publicly but from friends and neighbors, in the Fall semester, her school quarantined children at least twice and at least once for the aftercare. Additionally she has a 65-year-old bus driver, who the school board stated would be protected by hand sanitizer.

    • Avatar
      MARLE says:

      Virtually nobody our age went to kindergarten, Stuart, at the dawn of the 50’s. (Although I did b/c I was so gifted and had to be made an exception.) Your sans-K experience is neither extraordinary nor heart wrenching.

      • Avatar
        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        Your are gifted and HEARTLESS MARLE, a truly frightening combination but in this society you probably will go far and amount to something anyway.

  • Avatar
    Taxpayer #314 says:

    Since the “Chinese Flu” is just a fantasy and does not really exist trying to assign blame is a “little ridiculous” but republicans just seem to love their fantasy’s.

  • Pingback: Friday, January 15

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    The NEA Wants Joe Biden To Nationalize America’s Public Schools

    • Avatar
      James White says:

      And double the tax payer funding going to these failing institutions.

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      The question is not so much the undesirability of what the Democrats want to do, that’s a given, but rather what Republicans as a group and individually are prepared to do to thwart them. That’s where conservatives must focus our attention as we prepare for the Republican primaries in 2022.

      • Avatar
        Cryan says:

        Don’t worry about the 2022 primaries. Trump has it under control.

      • Avatar
        MARLE says:

        Why would you bother preparing. Donald will tell you who will be your nominee. The only thing you can hope for is that he is otherwise occupied and not paying attention to your primary efforts.

        You will dance with the devil as you have done for the last 4 years and he will call the tune b/c for these 4 years you have taught him how you want to be treated…..like a lap dog who howls at the moon.

        • Avatar
          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          Now MARLE you know that Donald has never told me (i.e. convinced me of) anything from the moment he came down that escalator in 2016 so why do you waste time saying nonsensical things like that? It is true, however, he did convince a majority of Republican voters to choose him as their nominee and after that happened we both decided that Trump was the best of a binary choice. The only difference between us is that I had no expectations as to what Trump would or wouldn’t do other than the fact that his administration would be nowhere near as left wing as Hillary’s would have been.

          I “danced with the devil” in recognition of the fact that there are degrees of devilishness before us and someone is going to be President. You approach this matter by comparing Republican officeholders to some ideal of perfection and as a result you are in angry despair when they inevitably fall short. I, on the other hand, compare Republican officeholders to their opponents, the Democrats, who I find so awful that I am thankful that they are not in office so I tolerate the Republicans UP TO A POINT. Historically “Lips” and “Uniter” Bush were so close to Democrats that I simply couldn’t vote for them for a second term and McCain personally infuriated me before he opened his nasty mouth so I couldn’t vote for him either. Lamar didn’t need my vote in the general so I didn’t give it to him. Trump is gone, I believe for good, it’s time to turn the page. We now should direct out attention to the future and lend our support to the most conservative candidates that have a reasonable chance to succeed.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            He has just weeks ago threatened to primary the Gov of GA. What I am suggesting is that your preparation will mean nothing if Trump comes to a state near you with 6 or 7 Million (raised over the next several years) to Undo any efforts you have made. (I am using the editorial “you” (which is sometimes hard for an egotist to discern).

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            Ever heard the expression, derived from a mathematical certainty ” If A = B, and B=C , then A=C????

            By insisting that every Republican politician be a mini-me and clone of himself, parroting his rhetoric and applauding his every move (as HE himself did)…..they have permanently Become him. A=C. That is what happened to the Bobbsie Twins in GA. Had Trump not insisted that they attack the Gov, Sec of State, Dir of Elections etc they would not have turned OFF so many Independents and turned OUT so many Black votes.

            Candidate Trump was worth voting for; President Trump not so much. He is and will be toxic to the Republicans’ ability to win in swing states where future candidates can be linked to him. AND when they lose he never acknowledge his role. No, when that happens, he will insist the race was stolen.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Republicans should never have nominated Trump in the first place. He was a No Record Candidate who was a joke who should have been disposed of in the early primaries in 2016. My conscious is clear insofar as my own efforts to make exactly that to have happened.

            Now the task for Republicans is to simply dispose of Trump. That will take time because he does have a large following but it can be done by Republicans simply showing up in Republican primaries and voting for thoughtful conservatives with a political record showing that they are worthy of the office they are seeking whether or not they are the Trump endorsed candidate. Conservatives who are financially able should give those candidate the financial support they need to effectively campaign. If enough Trump supported candidates lose Trump very soon ceases to be a factor in Republican politics. In any case, Trump is an old man, if the Republican electorate doesn’t handle Trump, nature surely will but I would bet on the former rather than the latter.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            Trump’s father died at 93 and his mother at 88. What does being 74 have to do with the potential for future damage to the Rep brand when you have 74M followers . You can raise a lot of campaign money with that timeframe and that level of devotees.

          • Avatar
            Cryan says:

            FLAGGED POST January 15, 2021 at 10:57 pm

            LeeAnne, Susan, PatriotReborn, Saba etc. refer to this post by Stuart I. Anderson, RINO Never-Trumper, as proof all Republican leaders think you’re an idiotic sucker. You should all follow Trump and primary any High Heritage elitists out of office.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            MARLE, no question about it, if the right balkanizes itself into 20 boutique parties – a Rt to Life Party, Trumpidian Party, Paleoconservative Party, Neoconservative Party, etc. etc. that will bring a big fat smile on faces of our friends on the left because we lose, the left wins. Of course, we are included in the 74 million and we are hardly Trumpidians. The trick on the right or left is to hammer out a platform skillfully crafted so all can buy into it because they will achieve their primary goal.

            I think a majority of Republicans no longer find Trump an attractive figure. The allure is gone. I also think that Republicans can’t elect a President or gain control of Congress without Trumpidians. We will simply have to see what Trump wants and how many Trumpidians will march over a cliff for Trump. Too many variables to predict even 2022 much less 2024. We have a problem, that’s for certain.

      • Avatar
        Jonathan Swift says:

        But Stuart, you don’t support Republicans, you support conservatives. Or have you changed your story again?

        • Avatar
          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          Great question Jonathan. This is controversial, but I take the position that the only way for conservatives to succeed is through the Republican Party. First past the post electoral systems are basically two party systems and the U.S. has one of the most entrenched two party systems in the western world and the left completely dominates the Democratic Party.

          I am a conservative ideologically, the Republican Party is the transportation that hopefully will carry the conservative movement into power nothing more, nothing less. Thus, in the reply to which you are replying after James is calling attention to an atrocious policy suggested by a left-wing interest group I am giving James my opinion that between now and the 2022 elections conservatives should be focused primarily on who to support and oppose in the Republican Primary in order to populate Republican officeholders with solid conservatives by watching who effectively opposes the Democrats vs. who is ready to capitulate to the Democrats when the pressure to do so starts to mount.

          I pride myself on my consistency pursuing a goal of a conservative Republican Party as the way to conservative government. I believe you will find that everything I say and do is explained by my pursuit of that goal.

    • Avatar
      Beatrice Shaw says:

      This is actually a worthwhile idea. Making teachers federal employees will increase accountability, pay and benefits. Students will also be taught a universal curriculum no matter where they live or how wealthy their family is.

      • Avatar
        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        “Worthwhile” is not the right word, “FABULOUS” is more like it. Why should teachers be accountable to some stinkin’ little school board that is in the community where they teach when they can be accountable to some district bureaucrat who is accountable to some regional bureaucrat who is accountable to some federal state bureaucrat who is accountable to the Assistant Undersecretary for the Southeast Region up in Washington, who accountable to. . . . Of course, the teachers would then be federal employees who are almost impossible to fire. Finally, rather than having the local school board give the teachers grief for imposing far left indoctrination that is out of step with the community zeitgeist, with federal government school’s leftists can capture the whole damn country’s government school system with one deft sweep and tell the parents of students “TAKE YOUR ZEITGEIST AND STICK IT WHERE THE SUN DON’T SHINE! As I said, “FABULOUS”!

  • Avatar
    Taxpayer #314 says:

    Now that is a bunch of gobbledygook that sounds almost good but just doesn’t quite make sense. Maybe those other Conservatives can understand it.

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    The BIG question, will the Legislature retract the law that gives the Governor, and via him, the mayors and the health department the ability to close private businesses due to some flu or something.
    Freedom in the Constitutions does not make allowances for Emergencies.

    • Avatar
      Jonathan Swift says:

      James, why don’t you leave it to the Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution, since that is their job. The far right politicians who continue to repeat Trump’s false assertions (like you do) have long ago violated their oath to support the Constitution, so it doesn’t really matter to them what it says.

      • Avatar
        James White says:

        Their job is Not to INTERPRET it is to APPLY. big difference

        • Avatar
          Jonathan Swift says:

          From supremecourt.gov: As the final arbiter of the law, the Court is charged with ensuring the American people the promise of equal justice under law and, thereby, also functions as guardian and interpreter of the Constitution.

          • Avatar
            James White says:

            some flunky wrote that.

          • Avatar
            Jonathan Swift says:

            So James, the best argument you have against the purpose of the US Supreme Court as defined on its official web site is that it was written by “some flunky”? As if you are much more knowledgeble? It’s no wonder you have no credibility.

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