ACT BUMP  Soulsville Charter School in Memphis saw its ACT scores jump two points this year, a trend the Tennessee Department of Education would like see statewide. Chalkbeat

HIRING BONUS  A shortage of high school math teachers in Memphis has Shelby County Schools willing to award a $5,000 signing bonus to those hired after Aug. 15. Chalkbeat

CLASSROOM SUPPLIES   Teachers with Shelby County Schools open their own pocketbooks for essential classroom supplies not covered by their $100 annual allotment from the district. Memphis Public Radio, Chalkbeat

BALLOT BOX  Secretary of State Tre Hargett says more than 170 schools have signed up to participate in Tennessee’s first statewide “Student Mock Election.” Knoxville News Sentinel 

TRUANCY INTERVENTION  Here’s what’s being done to address Nashville’s high truancy rate. The Tennessean

LEADERSHIP PIVOT  Interim leaders at the helm of Hamilton County Schools say the district’s central office is focused on supporting schools while giving them increased autonomy. Chattanooga Times Free Press

SEVERANCE PACKAGE  Records show that Knox County Schools’ longtime human resources director retired last month after agreeing to a $75,000 severance package. Knoxville News Sentinel

FALLEN OFFICER  Many schools in Blount County pause for a moment of silence to honor a Maryville police officer killed on duty last week. The Daily Times

DIGITAL TOOLS  Students at two Blount County schools receive new Chromebook tablets. Knoxville News Sentinel 

FIRST-YEAR TEACHER  A Q&A with a first-year elementary school teacher in Clarksville The Leaf-Chronicle

TRANSPORTATION SAFETY  After a few close calls in the new school year, transportation officials in Kingsport and Sullivan County urge motorists to stop for school buses loading and unloading students. Kingsport Times-News

CAFETERIA FOOD  Greene County students give high marks to the food being prepared by Chartwells, the Chicago-based company that took over the county’s school cafeterias. The Greeneville Sun

STRIKE UP THE BAND  A Cheatham County middle school launches a campaign to raise money to buy new musical instruments for its band program. The Tennessean

CORPORAL PUNISHMENT  Though corporal punishment in American schools has declined, paddling is still on the books in Tennessee and 18 other states, despite calls from the U.S. Education Department to curb punitive discipline, which has been shown to affect minority and disabled students disproportionately. The Associated Press

BEYOND HIGH SCHOOL Public colleges in the South are disproportionately losing funding and students. The Atlantic