TNDP CHAIR HENDRELL REMUS RELEASED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO GOVERNOR LEE’S RUSHED AND ILLOGICAL EDUCATION SPECIAL SESSION. 

JANUARY 22ND, 2021 (Nashville, TN) – “This week’s education special session called by Governor Lee’s administration left no question he is more concerned with advancing a radical agenda than serving those he was elected to protect. Due to a lack of leadership on Governor Lee’s behalf, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused immense harm to our state, and now Governor Lee is adding insult to injury. 

This week, he first attempted to defund schools that enacted virtual learning and when that failed, he decided to mandate in person standardized testing. If students underperform on said standardized tests after more than a year of disrupted learning, the students and teachers will be penalized. Last but not least, Governor Lee insulted teachers with a 1% pay raise after teachers never saw the raise they were promised last year. All of this compiled on top of the already broken funding formula. 

Tennessee ranks 46th in education spending and the bills he put forth this week did nothing to address that. In fact, the “learning loss” caused by COVID-19 has been exacerbated by the funding crisis in Tennessee. Why doesn’t Governor Lee and his GOP legislators want teachers to be paid what they deserve?

As a proud father of two children attending public schools, I worry for the wellbeing of our teachers, the failing facilities, and lack of resources the broken formula causes. I am calling on Governor Lee to put his partisanship aside and do what is best for Tennesseans: join Democrats in the state legislature to fully fund our public schools.”