Legislative Update, March 15, 2014

Tennessee General Assembly information, click HERE. For information on State Senators, including phone numbers and email addresses, click HERE; for House members, click HERE. For information on legislation, click HERE.
Don't forget that you can now watch the Senate committee meetings and floor sessions online by going HERE; House committee meetings and floor sessions online HERE.
Phone calls can go to the legislative Switchboard at 615-741-3011 or to the Toll Free number 1-800-449-8366+1 last four digits of office phone number (available online).


 

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.  Margaret Mead



FOR YOUR PRAYER LIST:
Rep. Harold Love (D-Nashville) lost his mother this week. You will want to remember this family.  Continue to pray for healing of Rep. Tim Wirgau's (R-Buchanan) shoulder.  Several lawmakers have some of the regular colds, viruses or congestion.
PLEASE pray for the action on the various very important bills in motion this week, especially for the Senators as they have opportunity to concur with the amendments that the House put on SB1266 [see below for details]!



JACOB'S CORNER:
I would like to tell you that I sat in Education Sub, where the Common Core bills were being presented. However, there wasn't even standing room, so I helped Mrs. Patray get to her seat and made my exit. (Is this what it feels like to be muscle?) As I stood among the crowd in the hall and chatted with many different people, I realized that though individuals may differ theologically, philosophically, and even politically we all share a commonality.  A desire for freedom. A large part of the opposition to Common Core is that it removes the freedom for each school system, school, classroom, teacher and parent to choose the education that best fits each county, city, community, classroom and child. Ultimately freedom is the end goal for the majority of Americans and though some may misunderstand how to acquire it, we can still be thankful that we live in the greatest Nation in the world. 



FOUNDATIONAL DOCUMENTS + CCSS AND PARCC:
SB 1266 by *Niceley ( HB 1129 by *Hill T)
Education, Curriculum - As introduced, requires emphasis on American foundational instruments and instruction in American historical achievement.
When HB1129 brought up on the floor calendar, sponsor, Rep. Timothy Hill,  'moved to substitute and conform to SB1266', then  the House adopted amendments 1 and 2 which 'make' the bill and requires that each student must be taught the documents, writings or records, etc.  Go HERE for details. 
In what can only be described as HIGH DRAMA [You can go and SHOULD go HERE to watch the debate --move slide over to 2:48]
, the House went on to adopt two additional amendments:
Amendment 5, which would 'postpone any FURTHER implementation of Common Core Standards until July 1, 2016', adopted 80-6-2.
Amendment 7, which would 'postpone any further implementation of PARCC assessments until July 1, 2016', adopted 88-0-0.
Then, SB1266, as amended, passed the House Floor 82-11.

PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE:
SB1266 will go back to the Senate where the Clerk will 'serve notice', meaning he will let the senators know that it has returned from the House amended. Then SB1266 will show up on a Message Calendar when the body will take it up and decide whether or not they will 'Concur' in the House amendments. 


GO HERE TO SEND YOUR SENATOR AN EMAIL ASKING HIM OR HER TO CONCUR IN THE HOUSE AMENDMENTS


PROTECTING PARENTAL RIGHTS:
SB 2559 by *Bowling ,
Hensley, Bell, Tate, Green, Dickerson, Burks, Crowe, Gardenhire
HB 2453 by *Matheny, Holt, Dunn, Hill M, Moody, Butt, Womick, Casada, Faison, Carr J, Matlock, Shipley, White D, Carter, Doss, Pody, Weaver, Kane, Williams R, DeBerry J, Alexander, Spivey

Education - As introduced, requires every LEA to allow parents to review all instructional materials used in the classroom of the parent's child; mandates the LEA to allow parents access to review all surveys and evaluations administered to the parent's child

NOTE: So excited that this VERY important, NON-COMMON CORE bill is finally on the calendar in both bodies next week.  The bill came directly from complaints from parents about not having access to materials used in their child's classroom, their student not being allowed to take a textbook home, and surveys  being giving that actually violated federal law when permission was not sought prior to administering the survey.  School - minor children in the classroom by compulsion. Therefore, NOTHING should happen in the classroom that parents (or guardians) cannot have access to!! PERIOD!!The last section of the legislation (requiring review and an op-out for "surveys, analysis, or evaluations" took on increased importance and urgency as we learned about
NOT WITH MY KIDS, YOU DON'T!  
All that being said, we don't expect it to pass easily, therefore, we REALLY NEED your support and engagement on this legislation.
ACTION:  Note the co-sponsors in RED above are members of the respective committees.  In the Senate please contact sen.stacey.campfield@capitol.tn.gov , sen.dolores.gresham@capitol.tn.gov, sen.brian.kelsey@capitol.tn.gov
asking that they support this legislation.
In the House, please contact rep.harry.brooks@capitol.tn.gov , rep.joe.pitts@capitol.tn.gov , rep.mark.white@capitol.tn.gov , rep.john.forgety@capitol.tn.gov  asking they they support this legislation.




COMPLETE AUDIT COMMON CORE, PARCC,ETC.:
SB 2410 by *Hensley ( HB 2333 by *Butt)
Education - As introduced, directs the comptroller of the treasury to audit the funding for the implementation of common core state standards and all components of PARCC, with cooperation from the department of education and the state board of education; requires the comptroller to do audit the race to the top funding; requires a report of findings and recommendations to the education committees by July 1, 2015

NOTE:  There is so much conflicting information 'out there' on the costs of the Common Core standards, all the components of PARCC and the Race to the Top grant, that it seems time to require the comptroller to a complete audit of each of theses entities.  The legislators, who are responsible for the budget, have not only the right, but the responsibility to know all of these important details.
STATUS:  So pleased to report, despite the questionably large fiscal note, SB2410 was passed by Senate Education on a 5-4 vote. It will now go to the Finance Committee where we will try to deal with the fiscal note. HB2333 is scheduled in House Education Subcommittee this week, members HERE
ACTION: Please contact members and urge them to help us get this important bill to Finance where we can work on the fiscal note.



MAJOR CHANGES IN THE TEXTBOOK ADOPTION PROCESS:
SB 1602 by *Bell , Gresham, Stevens, Yager, Johnson, Tracy, Hensley, Crowe, Tate

( HB 2249 by *Casada)
Textbooks - As introduced, restructures the textbook commission and the textbook selection process.
NOTE: This is an exceptionally important bill. Dozens of volunteers worked all summer to review textbooks and evaluated the textbook adoption process. This is our chance to improve the process and give more control legislators.
STATUS:  SB1602 is on the Senate Floor on Monday evening. Members found HERE.  HB2249 passed the subcommittee and is in House Education on Tuesday. Members found HERE.
ACTION: Please contact your senator and urge him or her to vote YES on SB1602 and contact members of the House Education committee urging the to support HB2249.



FUTURE STANDARDS AND DATA COLLECTION:
SB 1835 by *Gresham ( HB 1549 by *Dunn) Education - As introduced, establishes requirements for the adoption of educational standards; prohibits use of student data for purposes other than tracking academic progress and educational needs of students.
NOTE: I cannot begin to emphasize how important this bill is in order to protect our schools, students and the state from the imposition of the additional standards that we already know have been developed.  This bill will give Tennesseans control of what happens when any new standards are proposed.  They will be posted, reviewed with the House and Senate holding hearings, thus giving the public opportunity to be involved in this process.  It also puts significant restrictions on data collection and well as what can happen to the data that is collected.
STATUS:  So pleased to report that HB1549 passed the House floor Monday night 81-9-2. SB1835 is in Senate Education next week.
ACTION:  Please contact the members of Senate Education to express your support for this important bill.  Be sure to THANK Sen. Gresham for sponsor this legislation.


OTHER COMMON CORE RELATED BILLS IN COMMITTEE THIS WEEK:
Senate Committee member found HERE; House Education Subcommittee members found HERE.
PLEASE NOTE MEETING TIMES:
House Education Subcommittee will be meeting Tuesday, 8:00 am in Room 30; 3:00 pm in room 30; on Wednesday at 9:00 pm in Room 30. Senate Education will meet on Wednesday at 9:30 am in Room 12.



DISCONTINUING COMMON CORE STANDARDS:
SB 2405 by *Beavers (HB 2332 by *Womick)
Education - As introduced, discontinues use of common core state standards
STATUS:  Respective bills are in respective committees this week

PARCC ASSESSMENTS:
SB 1984 by *Campfield ( HB 1828 by *Womick)
Education - As introduced, prohibits adoption or use of PARCC assessments; requires the general assembly to make the decision as to the adoption of assessments to replace TCAPs; requires the state to withdraw from PARCC; prohibits state membership in any group that relinquished control over assessments to an outside entity
STATUS:  Respective bills are in respective committees this week

PARCC ASSESSMENTS:
SB 1882 by *Niceley ( HB 1696 by *Butt) Education, Curriculum - As introduced, mandates that the state board of education and department of education shall immediately withdraw from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and common core state standards.
STATUS:  Respective bills are in respective committees this week

NOTIFICATION OF MANDATED TESTS:
SB 2404 by *Hensley ( HB 2167 by *Butt)Education - As introduced, requires dissemination by the department of education and LEAs to parents of information concerning state and LEA mandated tests
STATUS:  Respective bills are in respective committees this week