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Lawmakers meet to discuss education bills, teachers could earn more

COVID-19 continues to cause disruption, one place that may take a while to recover is the classroom. Learning loss in students surged and now governor bill lee is trying to take a hold of it.

Three new education bills are on the table after a special legislation session called by Governor Bill Lee.

“We covered the basis of what has been proposed not only by the administration but within the house of representatives. We have a team of folks that are really plugged in to education", says Tennessee State Representative Chris Todd, District 73.

The National Association for Education Process did a survey that shows only 34% of students in Tennessee are proficient by the 4th grade.

With the disruption the pandemic placed on students and educators those numbers may be lower in the coming year.

A local educator says getting students back on a routine after missing months of class time last year was his biggest challenge.

“Students were out of routine of being in school of being in school, of doing school work. Trying to get back into that routine, while also juggling the challenges of virtual learning and learning new platforms," explains Bob Sparks, high school English teacher.

The bills mention harmless testing to gauge where students are instead of penalization for possible low test scores, more pay for educators, and summer learning programs to intervene in learning breaks.

Leaders with the Tennessee Education Association support the General Assembly putting education in the fore front, but they want them to take the right amount of time while making these decisions.

Beth Brown, President of the Association, says the decision they are making now will be seen for a while.

“Yes, we have this special session but let’s not rush through anything. The decisions that are being made in this special session are going to have long term implications for public education in the state of Tennessee. So, it’s important that legislators get it right and part of getting it right is taking the adequate time," says Brown.

Now that the bills are introduced, law makers will break into committees and discuss options.

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