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Education proposals highlight special session

Education proposals highlight special session

Posted: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 9:02 pm
By: AP, staff reports

 From AP, staff reports NASHVILLE — The Legislature is convening in a special session to take up a series of education proposals from Gov. Phil Bredesen. The Democratic governor is scheduled to address a joint session of the House and Senate this evening to make his case for the package. Bredesen says lawmakers need to approve several changes in K-12 education to strengthen the state’s application for federal “Race to the Top” money. The application is due on Jan. 19. The governor is also proposing a series of changes in higher education, including changing the state’s funding formula to emphasize graduation rates instead of enrollment. State Rep. Judy Barker of Union City commented Monday on the proposed legislation. She said she spent part of the day reading e-mails from teachers in the 77th House District, which is comprised of Obion, Lake and a part of Dyer counties. At 1 p.m. Monday she met with Bredesen’s staff in a joint session of the Education and Finance committees. “We just received drafts for the Tennessee First to the Top Act of 2010 and Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010,” she said. “The beginning of this session will be fast-paced, challenging and one definitely that will be remembered.” The Joint Education and Finance Committee resumed its meeting at 9 a.m. today, according to Mrs. Barker. “Education commissioner (Tim) Webb discussed the proposed enabling legislation to our committee for over two hours on Monday,” she told constituents in an e-mail letter. “I am requesting you watch the governor’s address to the joint convention tonight at 5 p.m. on TN.GOV. I look forward to your advice and opinions.” In addition to K-12 and Higher Education issues, representatives will promptly deal with suspension of the effective date of Public Chapter 1041 regarding workers compensation insurance for sole proprietors in the construction industry, delaying the implementation of new voter machines state-wide and red light cameras concerns. It’s the state’s first special session since 2006, when lawmakers passed a sweeping set of ethics laws in the aftermath of the FBI’s Tennessee Waltz corruption sting that led to the convictions of five former lawmakers. Published in The Messenger 1.12.10

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