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Educational battles await lawmakers
State Rep. Judd Matheny
To hear state lawmakers describe it, Capitol Hill in Nashville is a geyser of cash with Tennessee experiencing a tremendous revenue surplus.That extra money is going to be needed as the General Assembly convenes this Tuesday with a backpack full of educational priorities.Legislators must find a way to shore up a higher education system that’s been flooded with new students thanks to Tennessee Promise, a program which provides two years of free tuition at technical schools and community colleges.There are also forces tugging at K-12 education as there continues to be a push to funnel tax dollars from public schools to private schools in the form of vouchers.Then there’s the matter of what to do about those standardized tests. They are considered the Holy Grail in determining a school’s worth, yet the tests themselves are kept mysteriously secret as students and parents aren’t given a chance to see the questions and what’s been missed.“If these tests are important enough to give, parents should have the right to see them,” said state Rep. Kevin Dunlap. “The parents should be able to get that test, look at where their child is struggling, and determine where they may need some help.