Lakeland schools set legislative agenda to benefit students, teachers

New-LSS-logo-web-smallThe 2017 legislative agenda drew the most discussion at Monday night’s Lakeland School System meeting.

The three primary focuses of the board’s agenda are local control of schools, funding improvements and modification of Public Chapter 680. The latter item would enable the Department of Education to work with stakeholders in developing an accountability system that meets the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act without stigmatizing schools and students.

Lakeland’s legislative liaisons will use the agenda to guide their discussions with state legislators.

A few of the highlights include:

  • The right to choose between the TCAP test or the ACT/SAT Suite of Tests for end-of-year assessments.
  • Opposition to the use of public funds being diverted to any educational organization that is not required to adhere to the same accountability and reporting standards that are required of public schools.
  • Support for amending the Basic Education Program (the funding formula for state education dollars to go to Tennessee schools) to include money for Response to Instruction and Intervention positions within school districts.
  • Funding for Advanced Placement test fees for all students enrolled in AP courses.
  • Enablement of local boards of education to keep a percentage of funds from charter schools to cover the costs of being an effective authorizer.

Read the LSS legislative agenda in its entirety, including links to the specific pieces of legislation referenced.

Other business

In other business, Superintendent Ted Horrell gave the monthly expense report to the board and also reported in particular on how the cafeteria fund has improved since the school district began. He listed the net position as of the end of January each school year:

  • 2014-15: -$16,723
  • 2015-16: $10,083
  • 2016-17: $17,196 (despite adding another salary)

The board also:

  • Gave routine annual approval to the superintendent's surety bond for $244,520 (an amount determined by statute).
  • Approved new policies on family life education, honor roll and awards, and credits awarded in middle school.
  • Approved the school district’s calendar for 2018-19, budget amendments for the current fiscal year and the termination of shared services with other school districts as of June 30. (This has been an action taken by multiple municipal school districts with some opting not to share services and others opting to renegotiate agreements going forward.)
  • Updated a variety of district policies, including use of the internet, parental and family involvement, student records, payroll procedures, compensation guides and contracts, personal and professional leave, vacations and holidays, staff time schedules, purchasing, payment procedures, use of copyrighted materials, school volunteers and extracurricular activities.
  • Completed the monthly review of policies (done section-by-section on an annual rotation) with no changes recommended. The policies reviewed this month were 2.100-2.900, the Section 4 directory, and 4.100-4.805.

Editor's note: See the meeting's agenda for a complete list of policies reviewed, discussed, added or amended.

Written by Carolyn Bahm, Express editor. Contact her at (901) 433-9138, or