The Four Chambers Serving the State’s Four Largest Population Areas Support Bills Presented in Special Session
Today the Bredesen Administration is introducing two bills in a Special Session that would make much needed changes in education. The major chambers of commerce in Tennessee – the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, Knoxville Chamber, Greater Memphis Chamber, and Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce – all applaud the Governor’s efforts in educational reform and fully support his proposals.
The first bill related to K-12 education is the “Tennessee First to the Top Act,” which contemplates statutory changes needed to strengthen the Volunteer State’s chances in the federal government’s Race to the Top competition for education excellence. The Race to the Top funds could potentially bring up to $600 million to the State for innovation; the application is due January 19.
The second bill, the “Complete College Tennessee Act,” makes common sense changes in the higher education system to improve degree completion rates and ensure a more skilled workforce. An example of these common sense changes is revising the higher education funding formula to take into account success and outcomes, including degree completion.
The Big Four Chambers are urging their members to contact state senators and state representatives as soon as possible to express support for the Governor’s Race to the Top plan as introduced. Members are also being asked to urge legislators to resist the teachers unions’ efforts to water down legislation with amendments that could hurt Tennessee’s Race to the Top application. Finally, members are asked to express support for Governor Bredesen’s Complete College Tennessee plan as introduced.
To read the Governor’s office’s briefing about the Tennessee Education Innovation Plan, click here.