Rise & Shine: Memphis city council eyes hotel-motel tax to fund pre-K

Good morning!

Outside of the classroom, today is a busy news day. This morning in Nashville, Education Commissioner Candice McQueen will make her department's pitch to Gov. Bill Haslam for next year's state budget. In Memphis, city council members will talk about a proposal to fund universal pre-K, while Chief of Schools Sharon Griffin kicks off her community listening tour toward developing an academic plan for Shelby County Schools. Finally, Reinventing Public Schools author David Osborne makes a stop in Memphis to talk about the future of public education. Chalkbeat will be monitoring all of these stories. Follow our coverage on Facebook, Twitter and our homepage.

—Marta W. Aldrich, bureau chief

PRE-K PROPOSAL  Memphis City Council members will discuss a proposal today to fund universal prekindergarten in local public schools by hiking the hotel-motel tax. Memphis Daily News

APTITUDE TEST  Rather than just asking kids what they want to be when they grow up, Nashville’s public schools are experimenting with a new test to help students figure out what they’re naturally good at. Nashville Public Radio

BREAKAWAY DISTRICTS  Residents of Signal Mountain finally get the chance to ask questions about a possible secession from Hamilton County Schools. Times Free Press

CODING CURRICULUM  Calling coding “the language of the future,” Knox County Schools adds coding curriculum to most of its middle schools. Knoxville News Sentinel

REZONING  Knox County Schools likely will redraw zones next fall to alleviate overcrowding in Hardin Valley by moving students to Farragut High School. Knoxville News Sentinel

PLAYGROUND SAFETY  When it comes to playground safety at Tennessee public schools, each district decides individually how often playgrounds are inspected, and who inspects them. Fox13

SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION  Reducing school staff would account for a majority of the savings in a school consolidation plan being reviewed by Greene County’s school board. The Greeneville Sun

SUSTAINABILITY STEWARDS  Ten schools from across Tennessee are recognized as having the top school environmental programs. The Chattanoogan

ELECTION DAY  Across America, there are few statewide races today and no national race, but education is still on the ballot in many communities. Here’s what to watch for and why it matters. Chalkbeat

EDITORIAL  Here’s the child who most needs our help, and why it should start when the school bell rings.  The Commercial Appeal