Our government operates in terms of red and blue. Battle lines are drawn and to cross them is considered nearly treason in a world where party affiliation trumps reason. But yesterday, that changed when red and blue joined together and said “enough” to Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman and his hand-picked legislative wish list.
It was a startling sight as liberals and conservatives closed ranks against the administration’s heavy-handed tactics. It was just a week ago that Huffman told a reporter: “It’s as if there’s an open discussion about whether we should go in one direction or another. That bothers me.” Huffman’s disdain for democracy received a reality check from Tennessee’s largest elected body. Yesterday’s vote signaled that legislators will not accept without question the education agenda handed down by the Governor and the Department of Education, but Kevin Huffman’s wish list is still full of poor policies he wants to impose on the people of Tennessee.
Among the most pressing issues:
1) School Vouchers: Bad for Tennessee because it drains money from public school funding and gives it to private schools. This bill is up for its final committee vote in the House Finance Committee on Tuesday at 3 p.m. If it passes, it goes to the House floor for a final vote.
2) For-Profit Charters: Bad for Tennessee because for-profit companies are responsible to their stockholders first, not our kids. This bill is up for its final committee vote in the House Education Committee on Tuesday at 3 p.m. If it passes, it goes to the House floor for a final vote.
3) Charter Authorizer: Bad for Tennessee because this bill creates a new unelected panel with authority to overrule local boards of education regarding what schools to open and fund. This bill is up for its final vote on Monday on the Senate floor. If it passes, the Governor will sign it into law.
The Tennessee Department of Education has enjoyed full support from the US Department of Education with reforms but Commissioner Huffman is taking it too far. This is our chance to shut down the pet policies of Kevin Huffman remove opportunities for investors just looking to turn a profit on the backs of our children. More than ever, we need you to act now!
It’s vitally important that we continue to make our voices heard against these bills that could destroy public education in TN. Thank you!!