ALERT: Legislative Update, March 8, 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).
"When they feel the heat, they will see the light."
The late US Senator Everett Dirksen
Gal 6:9: "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
FOR YOUR PRAYER LIST: It is my understanding that Rep. Larry Miller's assistant lost her son this week. You will want to remember that family. Please remember Rep. Jeremy Faison, who developed some type of bursitis this week in his right knee that left him in great pain. Please continue to remember Rep. Tim Wirgau. His shoulder has improved some and he would really like to avoid surgery. Rep. Susan Lynn's litte grandson, who was recently diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes, celebrated his second birthday this week. Last, but certainly not least, please pray for the legislative events of the coming week. Pray for understanding, wisdom, favor and integrity. So much is at stake and we need 'all hands on deck' (and on their knees!!).
JACOB'S CORNER: Unfortunately, because of all the ice, Jacob was unable to get to the Capitol this week.
The battle is engaged -- will you show up on the battle field?
This is THE most important week of the 2014 Session of the TN General Assembly. So many of us have worked SO HARD to make sure that the issue of Common Core is confronted. We have courageous lawmakers who have introduced legislation that will repeal Common Core as well as do other 'damage' to the impact of Common Core and all its tentacles. They need and deserve our support.
HOUSE FLOOR COMMENTS ON COMMON CORE THURSDAY:
Go HERE, move slide to 19:08 to hear Rep. Micah Van Huss; 22:29 to hear Rep. Rick Womack; 24.00 to hear Rep. Matthew Hill; and 27:01 to hear Rep. Judd Matheny.
Arbitrarily, the most important bills were postponed to the LAST CALENDAR in the House Education Subcommittee. Knowing that the House and Senate leadership are intent on rushing to close down this session, our mission is to influence those leaders to hear these bills as soon as possible so they have time to get through the process with a fair hearing.
Please contact Rep. Harry Brooks - (615) 741-6879; firstname.lastname@example.org
and Rep. Mark White - (615) 741-4415; email@example.com
MESSAGE: POLITELY request that these bills be moved from the last calendar to the NEXT calendar.
HB2332 (repeal CC),
HB1828 (withdraw from PARCC)
HB1963 (Fair and Clear Teacher Evaluation Act)
HB2263 (Educator Respect and Accountability Act of 2014)
HB2290 (requires the department of education to reimburse LEAs for the costs of implementing and the ongoing costs to use common core state standards and PARCC assessments)
Rep. Rick Womick (R-Murfreesboro) will be in my studio Tuesday morning, March 11 from 6 a.m. until "as long as it takes" to describe his concern about the structure and substance of Common Core, and will be prepared to cite the evidence to back it up. Feel free to pose specific questions here in advance of Tuesday's Common Core marathon on Nashville's Morning News, 99.7 WWTN. (Our regular Tuesday morning legislative insiders will be invited to join the discussion at their regular times.)
Come to Legislative Plaza by noon wearing some kind of 'Stop Common Core' sticker or button (Don't bring signs as they are not allowed in committee room). Visit with as many available legislators as possible to let them know you support the repeal of Common Core. Every legislator needs to know that Common Core is opposed. Plan to attend the House Education Subcommittee meeting at 3:00 in Room 30.
WEDNESDAY: Come early to attend for a Rally at 1:30pm on Legislative Plaza. Bring signs (kid friendly and appropriate please). You will hear favorite legislators, activists, and media personalities.
THURSDAY: Come to sit in the Gallery at the 9:00 am House Floor session to watch as important votes are cast.
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 to legislators. As you can see from the articles below, we are fighting a headwind.
GOP Lawmakers Want Power To Appoint Boards; Gov. Haslam Says Not So Fast
Tennessee Lawmakers Grabbing Control Of Textbook Commission From Governor
STATUS: Sen. Bell did such a good job of presenting and explaining this legislation and its importance. VERY PLEASED to report that SB1602 pass Senate Education 8-0-1 and was sent to the Calendar Committee.HB2249 is scheduled in House Education Subcommittee on TUESDAY, where, unfortunately, it faces an unknown future.
ACTION: PLEASE contact every member of the Subcommittee and URGE them to support this important legislation.
ADOPTING FUTURE EDUCATION STANDARDS:
SB 1835 by *Gresham ( HB1549 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: One the biggest complains we have had is about the WAY we came to have Common Core Standards. This legislation will ensure that both the people and the legislators are involved in a process that will be completely open and transparent.
STATUS: Pleased to report that SB1835, as amended, passed Senate Education 8-1 and was sent to the Calendar Committee. HB1549 is on the House Floor Monday night.
ACTION: EVERY legislator should be contacted and urged to support this very important legislation.Members can be found HERE.
WITHDRAWING FROM PARCC; FUTURE CONSORTIA
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: SB1984 is scheduled in Senate Education on Wednesday, members HERE.
ACTION: Please let the members that you support this legisation.
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: SB1882 is scheduled in Senate Education on Wednesday, members HERE.
ACTION: Please let the members that you support this legisation.
Withdrawing from PARCC will not solve the whole Common Core problem, but we would rather be out of PARCC than in it. A number of states HAVE with drawn form PARCC, we hope that TN will join those. What States Have Pulled Out of their Common Core Assessment Consortium?
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 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 do 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: SB2410 is scheduled in Senate Education on Wednesday, members HERE.
ACTION: Please urge members to support this legislation.
INSTATE TUITION FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS:
SB 1951 by *Gardenhire ( HB 1992 by *Floyd)
Education, Higher - As introduced, permits undocumented alien students who are Tennessee residents, who meet the academic requirements of HOPE scholarship and attend Tennessee schools for five years prior to graduating from high school, be charged in-state tuition at public institutions of higher education.
This legislation could incentivize illegal behavior. The laws of the United States prohibit illegal aliens from residing in our country. However, everyday illegal aliens make a conscious decision to ignore these laws. Should we be rewarding this behavior and, in addition, make TN a magnet for these students?
69% Oppose In-State Tuition To Illegal Immigrants
Providing In-State Tuition for Illegal Aliens: A Violation of Federal Law
Frankly, I cannot believe that this bill is getting the traction it is getting.
Federal law prohibits state colleges and universities from providing in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens "on the basis of residence within the State"-unless the same in-state rates are offered to all citizens of the United States
STATUS: SB1951 is int Senate Education this week, members HERE; HB1992 is in House Education Subcommittee, members HERE.
ACTION: Please let members of both committees know that this is illegal and to vote no on this legislation.
EXPRESSES TENNESSEE'S SOVEREIGNTY:
SJR 0491 by *Tracy
General Assembly, Statement of Intent or Position - Expresses Tennessee's sovereignty over education standards and assessments.
NOTE: Granted that a Resolution that expresses a 'position' and does not carry the force of law, nonetheless, it is interesting.
STATUS: SJR491 passed Senate Education 7-0-2 and was sent to the Calendar Committee
'SEX WEEK' AT UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE:
SJR 0626 by *Bell
University of Tennessee - Directs board of trustees to work with university administration to implement changes to the assessment and allocation of the student activity fees within the University of Tennessee system; requires report to chairs of education committees by January 1, 2015
Tennessee lawmakers threaten UT funding over 'Sex Week'
Lt. Gov. Displeased at UT fees for Sex Week
UT officials ponder legislators' Sex Week concerns; new resolution directs trustees on what to do
STATUS: After a lengthy discussion, SJR626, was passed Senate Education 7-1-1, and was sent to the Calendar Committee.
CALLING FOR AN ARTICLE V CONVENTION:
SJR 0493 by *Kelsey
Constitutional Conventions - Makes application to the U.S. Congress to call a constitutional convention for the sole purpose of proposing a federal balanced budget amendment.
HJR 0548 by *Powers Constitutional Conventions - Makes application to Congress for the purpose of calling a convention of states concerning balanced budgeting.
STATUS: SJR 593 passed the Senate floor on Thursday 28-0-1.
STATUS: HJR548 is on the House Floor Monday evening.
NOTE: Regardless of all the 'assurances' about the safety of the never-used-portion of the US Constitution, there is NO underlying or existing 'authority' for making these assurances. I recognize the grave concerns that we all have about the future of this country, but I continue to believe that this path is very risky as Elaine's testimony clearly reveals.I would invite you to read this by my friend:
Statement or the Record by laine Donnelly, President, Center for Military Readiness on an Article V Convention
ACTION: I hope that you will contact your legislator to express your conern about Tennessee joining this effort.