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Rise & Shine: Voucher bill faces new scrutiny amid report of FBI probe

Good morning and welcome to a new week!

While Tennessee's legislature passed an education voucher bill almost two weeks ago, Gov. Bill Lee hasn't yet signed the controversial legislation. Now some lawmakers are urging him to hold off even longer. The calls came on Friday after Nashville TV station WTVF reported that the FBI is looking into the possibility of improper incentives offered in return for votes.

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—Marta W. Aldrich, statehouse correspondent

 

TWIST  Education voucher legislation on the verge of becoming law in Tennessee is facing renewed opposition amid a report of an FBI investigation related to the circumstances of its passage. Chalkbeat, Daily Memphian, 

SNEAK PEEK  Germantown leaders check the progress of a new elementary school under construction in suburban Memphis and scheduled to open in August. Daily Memphian

TURF BATTLES  Last week’s state Supreme Court ruling means that Tennessee’s city school systems can keep their cut of tax money from liquor-by-the-drink sales and don’t have to turn over the cash to counties. Knoxville News Sentinel

CHRONIC ABSENTEEISM  With almost 150,000 Tennessee students missing school every day, community leaders in Knoxville discuss barriers like health challenges, school discipline, and poverty. WBIR

NASHVILLE LAWSUIT  A multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Metro Nashville schools will go forward after a federal judge rules there was ample evidence to show that officials knew there was a sexual harassment problem but failed to protect students. The Tennessean

BUDGET SEASON  A group of prominent Chattanooga business leaders speaks out in support of the district’s $443 million budget request. Times Free Press

Fast-growing Rutherford County Schools may need a property tax increase to fund next year’s budget with 5% pay raises. Daily News Journal

Jackson-Madison County’s school board requests funding to expand pre-K, increase employee salaries, and purchase social studies curriculum. The Jackson Sun

COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER  U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander speaks to the 100th graduating class of Maryville High School, his alma mater. Maryville Daily Times

COMING HOME  The newly selected director of Sullivan County Schools is a northeast Tennessee native who most recently was a superintendent in Maryland. Kingsport Times News

DIRECTOR CHARGED  The schools director for Stewart County left the scene of the wreck that led to her arrest on DUI charges, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol. The Leaf Chronicle

OPPORTUNITY ZONE OSCARS  Hamilton County Schools rolls out the red carpet to celebrate educators working in the district’s highest needs schools. Times Free Press

HIGH ACHIEVER  When Mario Pukl graduates this month, he’ll make history as the first student to leave Williamson County Schools with a diploma — and two-year associate degree in hand. The Tennessean

Extra Credit: Operation Prevention

The winning public service announcement from a national competition highlighting opioid misuse was produced by a student team from Coffee County Central High School in Manchester, Tenn. Congratulations to Dalton Sherrill, Jackson Hamm, Yanely Luna, and Brian Wang, who will receive $10,000 and tour a DEA training academy in Quantico, Va. The contest was sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, its education foundation, and Discovery Education.