Rise & Shine: Can lawmakers iron out differences in school voucher legislation?

Good morning,

Hope you got plenty of rest over the weekend because this could be another roller coaster ride in education news in Tennessee this week. At the top of the agenda is the future of the governor's voucher initiative. Last week the House and Senate approved legislation that would establish education savings accounts allowing eligible students to use taxpayer money to pay for private school tuition. But the bills have significant differences. Both versions appear headed to a conference committee this week to see if lawmakers can iron out their differences.

Meanwhile in Shelby County, the school board is supposed to vote Tuesday on whether to launch a national superintendent search or simply hire interim superintendent Joris Ray outright. The board was slated to discuss it during a work session last week, but board member Stephanie Love pulled her resolution from the agenda without discussion. “I will bring it forth at the appropriate time,” Love told Chalkbeat Tuesday night. And on Friday, the resolution didn't appear on the regular school board agenda for Tuesday's meeting either. We're not sure what any of this means.

To catch up on these issues check out Laura Kebede's appearance with a roundtable of journalists on "Behind the Headlines.

— Jacinthia Jones, bureau chief


EDUCATION ROUNDTABLE Journalists on WKNO TV’S “Behind the Headlines” talk about vouchers, the superintendent search in Shelby County Schools and sports betting to benefit education. WKNO

SUPERINTENDENT HISTORY In the last 60 years, there have been about a dozen superintendents for the current Shelby County Schools district and the former Memphis City Schools. The Daily Memphian

SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH The Shelby County School board is preparing to hold a vote this week, that will decide to either keep the current interim Shelby County School superintendent or vote to hold a national search for the role. Local Memphis, Chalkbeat (April 23)

VOUCHER COMPROMISE With major sticking points between the House and Senate on Gov. Bill Lee’s education savings account bill, the legislation is likely headed for a conference committee, lawmakers say, where even a compromise plan’s result is unpredictable. The Daily Memphian

VOUCHER PROTESTS Organizers of the voucher legislation are calling for people to fill the halls of the Tennessee capitol Monday, in a last-ditch effort to keep the school voucher initiative from becoming law. WMC-TV

EDUCATION SUPPORT The NewComer Academy, aimed at  supporting immigrant students by immersing them in intense English language classes through small classes with other students who are new to the country, is the first program of its type in Hamilton County Schools. Chattanooga Times Free Press

SCHOOL ARREST A Chattanooga man has been charged with child abuse after allegedly beating and throwing a young family member across an elementary school bathroom. Chattanooga Times Free Press

SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES Five people seeking three at-large seats on the Kingsport Board of Education were asked: What are the worst disciplinary problems in your school system? Kingsport Times-News