NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — Tennessee Governor Bill Lee is calling a special session to address learning loss during the pandemic.
After the fall semester, preliminary analysis shows the average third grader has lost about 50% proficiency in reading and 65% ability in math because of disruption in instruction.
Legislators will address five key education issues: learning loss, funding, accountability, literacy and teacher pay.
However, Democratic leadership says the focus of this special session is misplaced.
Representative Vincent Dixie is chairman of the Democratic House Caucus who says, “We have an ongoing cause to fix the learning loss accountability teacher pay. The things the governor is calling for in a special session is what we do in a regular session. If you’re going to call a special session is how do we protect Tennesseans? How do we make their lives better? Are we going to issue a mask mandate?”
The state is planning to launch a Reading 360 program to improve reading skills using one-time federal coronavirus relief funding.
The special session on education starts January 19.
by Stacy Case