Watch the GOP Block a Jason Hodges Amendment for Tennessee’s underemployed that would cost half ($20 MILLION) of what Bill Lee’s vouchers are costing ($41 MILLION), which remain in the budget.
House Education Committee chair Rep. Mark White (R-Memphis) is among the Republicans who have spoken out against Mary Pierce, one of the nine people Governor Bill Lee nominated for his new charter school board commission, because she used the children of Reps Mike Stewart & Bo Mitchell against them – naming the schools their children go to in an attempt to discount their opposition to Governor Bill Lee’s public school-harming SCHOOL VOUCHERS.
Problem is, Rep. White once did the VERY SAME THING to his opponent Jerri Green, currently running against him in HD-83.
Governor Bill Lee has nominated 9 people to be members of a new state charter school commission that has the power to overrule local school boards and ram charter schools down the throats of rural communities that may not want them for fear that they will drain resources from already severely underfunded public schools, which is what has happened in California and many places like it.
Tennessee has an “F” in school funding under this Republican supermajority, so the fears of rural school boards would be understandable, but the commission is on the verge of becoming a reality anyway thanks to Governor Lee and his Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn.
2 of Lee’s charter commission nominees, Alan Levine and Mary Pierce have met resistance from opponents.
The pushback to Levine came from Rep. Gloria Johnson, who rightly pointed out that Alan Levine was the mouthpiece for the company HMA, lying on 60 Minutes before they were forced to pay $260 MILLION IN FINES FOR MEDICARE FRAUD, had filed bogus charges against protestors in Kingsport who protested his company for over 200 days, and is the CEO of Ballad Health, which was exposed in the NY Times for SUING THOUSANDS OF PATIENTS WHO COULDN’T AFFORD TO PAY THEIR BILLS.
What a guy.
The resistance to Mary Pierce on the other hand came from Democrats and Republicans alike who took exception to her dragging the children of Reps Mitchell & Stewart into the conversation about school vouchers, going so far as to naming the schools their kids attend.
Rep. Mark White, the chair of the Education Committee, had this to say:
“You should never talk about someone else’s children.”
One problem — White did the EXACT same thing to Jerri Green, his opponent in HD-83, calling out where her children go to school to discount her opposition to Lee’s public school harming school vouchers program, which have been the source of much controversy due to the “bribes and threats” used by Lee to get them passed – including a military promotion – and used a $4 Million slush fund that seems to have appeared to grease the skids, and a problematic “sketchy” rollout around an overly expensive no-bid contract that “robbed” from teacher bonus pay which has even Republican leaders regretting their vote.
Here’s White outing Green’s kids EXACLY the same way Pierce did, in the Daily Memphian:
Hypocrisy much, Rep. White?
It’s worth noting that the school White mentions IS a public school – not a magnet or private school – it just has a special contract with the University of Memphis to help train teachers.
“It was our neighborhood school,” says Green.
If you feel like letting White know how you feel about his blatant hypocrisy, holler at him HERE.
And to learn more about Green’s campaign to unseat him, find more info HERE.
Rep. Gloria Johnson protests Charter School Commission nominee Alan Levine – subject of a 60 Minutes expose on MEDICARE FRAUD after which his company paid $260 MILLION in fines, and CEO of Ballad Health, recently ripped in the NY Times FOR SUING THOUSANDS OF POOR PATIENTS.
Ballad was protested for 200 days in Kingsport for a reason. Do better, Governor.
We caught up with Senator Janice Bowling about her controversial comments about early childhood education and implying moms should stay home like she did – which she denies saying and says we twisted.
You be the judge!
THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY SEEN ON THE TENNESSEE EDUCATION REPORT… For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport
On Feb. 5, Gov. Bill Lee’s education chief presented the department’s “Best for All” plan to layout the administration’s goals for future of education in Tennessee.
During the 27-slide presentation, commissioner Penny Schwinn briefly described a new initiative to increase the number of charter schools operating in rural school districts.
Schwinn told the audience of mostly legislators and staff that a $24 million line item for “Charter Schools Facilities Funding” in the governor’s budget included a $10 million, one-time grant for high school charter facilities called “Innovative High School Models.”
“…and Innovative High School Models. The thing that I want to touch on there is the governor proposed $12 million recurring, $12 million one time for charter school facilities funds.
One of the things that we’re proposing with the one-time funds is $10 million that would go to help build public charter schools with districts — in partnership with districts — to create more opportunities for students in rural communities.
One would suspect that rural districts would be very interested to know the Commissioner’s plans for expanding charter schools into their territory. Perhaps the new school privatization commission will be the vehicle to make this happen?
For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport
TN GOP Senator Janice Bowling says TN should encourage moms to stay home as she did rather than use federal 💵 to help TN families with child care.
Her message: “Parenting is not a part-time job” and ““Early Childhood Education is NOT in the best interest of the Child.” 🤔
Worth noting: Bowling represents the POOREST county in TN – Grundy County – yet resists helping families with daycare costs using FEDERAL 💵 because she believes moms should stay home and early childhood education is bad (which study after study shows it is NOT). Early Childhood Education is a good thing.
Bowling clearly has no idea what it’s like to be poor in Tennessee, where we lead the nation in minimum wage jobs (because her party won’t raise it), are at the bottom in poverty, #1 medical bankruptcies, etc.
People work 2 jobs and still barely get by, yet Bowling sits in judgment of them and resists helping with federal funds that are there for exactly that reason?
Holler at her HERE.
Gov. Bill Lee’s public school-harming vouchers barely passed thru “sketchy” “bribes & threats” after disgraced former speaker Glen Casada held the board open for 35 minutes — until Rep. Jason Zachary finally flipped his vote and pushed through a program that will ONLY effect Nashville & Memphis, whose reps voted AGAINST it. (Zachary’s math was way off, but we digress)
The FBI supposedly opened an inquiry.
There’s a $4 Million Slush fund that seems to have been used to bribe rural reps for their votes, but nobody wants to talk about it.
Lawsuits have begun.
Today, I announced that the Metro Government, including our Board of Public Education, has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the State of Tennessee’s controversial 2019 school voucher law.
— Mayor John Cooper (@JohnCooper4Nash) February 6, 2020
Now it seems the Tennessee Department of Education “robbed” a teacher bonus program to fund a no-bid $2.5 MILLION Class Wallet contract to implement the program that far exceeds what the allocation was… without the comptroller even reviewing it “for merit.
A mess. The mess is so bad even TN GOP House Caucus chair Jeremy Faison regrets his vote, and Appropriations Committee Chair Matthew Hill wants answers. He voted for the bill also.
Meanwhile Governor Lee blames everyone but himself, as he always does.
Watch what he does, not what he says.
Rep. Mike Stewart & Rep. Bo Mitchell confront Gov. Bill Lee Tennessee Department of Education commish Penny Schwinn about a no-bid $2 MILLION ClassWallet contract that exceeds the total💰allocated for his voucher program, echoing controversy from her past.
Here’s more on Class Wallet: http://www.mommabears.org/blog/whos-in-your-wallet
The extra funding came from a Lamar Alexander-era program intended for teacher bonuses. Yes, taking from teachers to pay for the voucher program.
Is Former TN GOP Senator Bob Corker getting back into politics in his hometown? Has he decided to throw his weight behind an effort to eliminate neighborhood schools in Chattanooga?
Corker was recently spotted leaving a meeting with well-known radical right-wing political consultant and sole staffer for a new anti-public education group, the ‘Good Government Coalition’, which is aiming to eradicate local public schools in Hamilton County.
The group recently boasted that an effort to raise $200k for upcoming school board races was going as planned.
Is the former Senator leveraging his personal fortune to install a right-wing majority on the Hamilton County School Board?
What’s Bob Corker up to?