During the 2019 session we passed key pieces of legislation to continue to improve education in Tennessee. Not only did we pass legislation to strengthen the learning components in our schools, but we also made great strides in improving the safety for our students. SB803, which I carried and passed in the Senate, provides additional funding for School Resource Officers. This bill;
-Invests $40 million in the state’s existing School Safety Grant Program to prioritize grants for School Resource Officers (SROs).
-Doubles recurring funds from $10 million to $20 million and provides an additional $20 million in non-recurring funds.
-Accommodates underserved counties working to secure schools and fill SRO positions by adjusting the match requirements to be proportional with districts’ fiscal capacity.
- Currently, there are approximately 500 schools in Tennessee that do not have an SRO.
-Allows schools that currently have an SRO to use the grants to fund other school safety priorities, including implementation of building security measures or developing youth violence prevention programs.
-Fills an important need to ensure students in Tennessee have safe and secure learning environments.
Governor Lee’s Give Act, SB805, was passed during this legislative session. This bill;
-Establishes the Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) Act to develop work-based learning and apprenticeship opportunities through regional partnerships to increase the number of young adults earning an industry certification and entering a career within one year of high school graduation.
-Provides funding for high school juniors and seniors to utilize four fully-funded dual enrollment credits for high-skill, high-demand, career-focused programs from community colleges and Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCAT).
-Funding for GIVE Dual Enrollment grants is through excess lottery funds after HOPE, Promise, and Reconnect are all fully funded. A student’s acceptance of a GIVE Dual Enrollment grant would not take away from his or her eligibility for the HOPE Scholarship or TN Promise.
-BACKGROUND: Since 2005, Tennessee has provided lottery funding to fund higher education coursework while students are still in high school. The current dual enrollment program provides full funding for two college courses and a portion of a third. The GIVE Dual Enrollment Grant will provide additional money to fully fund the third and fourth courses for students dual-enrolled in a TCAT or Community College teaching a high-skill, high-demand trade, as determined by the TSAC board of directors.
Another piece of legislation that was passed this session was the Alternative Growth Portfolio Model, SB 442. This bill;
-Provides local education agencies (LEAs) with the option to use comparable alternative student growth measures for pre-k and kindergarten growth portfolio models.
-Helps to ensure that the work done by teachers in non-graded subjects is evaluated fairly and is not burdensome to teachers.
-States that employment termination and compensation decisions for the 2018/2019 school year shall not be based on data generated by the portfolio model.
-Finally, the legislation creates a 10-member portfolio review committee.
You May Contact Senator Hensley at
425 5th Avenue North, Suite 746
Nashville TN 37243
Toll Free 1-800-449-8366 ext. 13100
855 Summertown Highway
Hohenwald TN 38462
Cell Phone 931-212-8823