TN Senate Education Committee Amends Maximum Class Size Bill And Sends To Calendar Committee

Image Credit: capitol.tn.gov

The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –

The Tennessee Senate Education Committee considered a bill that would potentially allow school districts to increase maximum class sizes in Tennessee public schools. An amendment to the bill was passed, and the bill was referred to the Senate Calendar Committee.

Senate Bill 0197 (SB0197), sponsored by State Senator Jon Lundberg (R-Bristol-District 4), as originally introduced, would “repeal the maximum class sizes, maximum class size averages, and student-teacher ratios” previously mandated in state law.

Lundberg began by explaining the proposed amendment to the bill. The bill as amended would remove the requirement to maintain average class sizes but it would keep in place the maximum class size stipulation.

Local education agencies would have the option of requesting a waiver to exceed that classroom maximum, but Lundberg added that those would be approved by the state Department of Education in small numbers on a case-by-case basis.

After several senators asked for some basic clarification to both the amendment and the bill, the amendment was passed by a voice vote.

A roll call vote was taken for the bill itself, and it was passed with 7 ayes. Senator Dawn White (R-Murfreesboro-District 13) voted against the bill, and Senator Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis-District 29) was present but did not vote.

The legislation was then referred to the Senate Calendar Committee for scheduling to be heard on the Senate floor.

If the bill passes, it will go into effect for the upcoming school year.

The companion House Bill (HB0809) is set to be considered by the House K-12 Subcommittee on March 7.

If you would like to express your opinion about this bill, please contact members of the committee prior to that date using the information below:

House K-12 Subcommittee

Kirk Haston (Chair) (R) – rep.kirk.haston@capitol.tn.gov – (615) 741-0750

Gino Bulso (R) – rep.gino.bulso@capitol.tn.gov – (615) 741-6808

Chris Hurt (R) – rep.chris.hurt@capitol.tn.gov – (615) 741-2134

Sam McKenzie (D) – rep.sam.mckenzie@capitol.tn.gov – (615) 741-0768

Bryan Richey (R) – rep.bryan.richey@capitol.tn.gov – (615) 741-3560

William Slater (R) – rep.william.slater@capitol.tn.gov – (615) 741-2534

Robert Stevens (R) – rep.robert.stevens.@capitol.tn.gov – (615) 741-3830

Todd Warner (R) – rep.todd.warner@capitol.tn.gov – (615) 741-4170

Mark White (R) – rep.mark.white@capitol.tn.gov – (615) 741-4415

About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative  ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career.  Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others.  He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History.  Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com

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