LSS: 2017 Legislative Agenda

[Editor's note: This legislative agenda was copied from the Lakeland School System's website.]

Local Control of Schools

New-LSS-logo-web-smallWe believe that local Boards of Education (BOEs) are best equipped and informed to make decisions that address the needs and challenges of their local schools. In keeping with that principle, we support the following:

• The appointment of—rather than the election of—a Superintendent/Director of Schools. SB340OPPOSE.

• The right to choose between the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) TCAP test or the ACT/SAT Suite of Tests for end-of-year assessments, not to exceed eight (8) hours in length per academic year. HB262, SUPPORT. SB204/HB263, SUPPORT.

• Growth model: Does not give flexibility to the district. SB250/HB67, OPPOSE.

• PE/physical activity: Amending Public Chapter 669 to allow for flexibility in its application. Teachers need to be empowered to determine the best way to achieve the required physical activity with the least amount of disruption to the school day. [Editor's note: This is known as the "90-minute physical activity law." To read what Public Chapter 669 says, search the Tennessee Code Annotated online for § 49-6-1021. (That means to look for Title 49, Chapter 6, and Part 10; then you will see a link under Part 10 for 49-6-1021.)]

• The amendment of state law allowing local governments through their local public utilities to decide how essential services should be offered and how to meet critical infrastructure needs. SB126, SUPPORT.

• The amendment of the law relative to the advertisement for bids and the sale of surplus property so that a school district can use alternative methods other than written news publications for announcements.

• Retired teachers: Allows LEA’s choice in what teachers are in the classroom. SB156/HB166, SUPPORT.


• Publicly Funded Vouchers

We oppose 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. SB395, SB380/HB336

• Funding of RTI2 Positions

We support an amendment to the BEP formula that includes funding for Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI2) positions within school districts. We oppose transferring funds from another budget line item to fund this initiative. [Editor's note: For a detailed look at what RTI2 means, check the online manual.]

• Fund Balance Surplus

We urge the General Assembly to amend the law to enable a local education agency to unilaterally spend any dollars in the fund balance in excess of 3 percent of the budgeted annual operating expenses.

• Funding for Advanced Placement Tests

We urge the General Assembly to provide funding for Advanced Placement test fees for all students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses.

• Authorizer Fee for Charter Schools

We urge the General Assembly to change state law to enable local BOEs to retain a percentage of funds from charter schools to cover the costs of being an effective authorizer. SB263/HB267, SUPPORT.

• Money for Teacher for Classroom Instruction

State needs to fund with new money, not take away from other funds to pay for this. SB401SUPPORT.

Modify Public Chapter 680

We support the modification of Public Chapter 680 to allow 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.

[Editor's note: We found this information on Public Chapter 680.]