Well Pre-K passed the House. I am sure most of you can guess how I voted. Many of the issues I brought up were offered as amendments such as the books from birth program. Other amendments were brought to make the program for at risk children only, dividing the money among the 3 grand divisions equally,allowing private schools to have a shot at the money (vouchers). All these died along party lines.
Many representatives spoke to the facts posted on this blog, as well as other blogs. But in the end, the vote was 75 for, 21 against.
We'll see how the Senate handles the bill.
I began to present my Student Bill of rights and it went well. It is moving as I expected and I even picked up some bi-partisan support. The highlight had to be when the head man for Tennessee higher ed began to speak. He ended up helping me by accident.
He started out as expected by saying it's not needed, it's already covered, etc. When I asked about the weakness of it not being codified and the inability to enforce the rules with tenured professors, he agreed saying that the programs in place might affect just non-tenured teachers.
What happened next was very interesting. Unprompted, several other representatives from both sides of the political aisle started to talk about their own horror stories. And then they talked about stories told to them by their constituents years before I ever brought up this bill! Then probably most interesting of all to me, was one legislator told how he used to be a student government president and would have to deal with these complaints.
He told how most of the students were given the runaround and put off or brushed under the carpet. The Tennessee Higher Ed rep. said something to the effect of “well, we don't do that to all of them.”
My jaw hit the floor. I chimed in that he was ADMITTING it does happen to SOME of them?!?! He replied “yes, but not many”. I don't know what to say except thank you-he proved there is indeed a need for my bill. I answered a few more questions and then it was time to go.
What a day!