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Bill Lee on Education

 

 


Expanding civics education with Civics Seal Initiative

Two years ago we created the Governor's Civics Seal to ensure we raise a generation of young people who are knowledgeable in American history and confident in navigating their civic responsibilities. Using federal dollars, we're doubling the number of schools participating in the Civics Seal Initiative. Going forward we are developing a set of instructional materials that will be free to districts, so that ultimately every school can earn the Governor's Civics Seal at no cost.
Source: 2021 State of the State Address to the Tennessee legislature , Feb 8, 2021

4% salary boost for teachers; make $40,000 minimum salary

I'm proposing the largest investment in K-12 teacher salaries in Tennessee history. My budget sets aside $117 million additional dollars for teachers, an amount equal to a 4% increase in the state's contribution to teacher salaries. We must also work harder to make teaching a more attractive profession for young people. Over the next two years, we will recommend moving the minimum salary schedule for teachers from $36,000 to $40,000, so that no teacher is making less than $40,000 per year.
Source: 2020 State of the State Address to the Tennessee legislature , Feb 3, 2020

Focus on new initiatives in teacher training

Our Department of Education will be working with our schools of education, to ensure that our approach to training teachers is the best. The Tennessee Teacher and Leader Institute will solicit proposals to help launch a new initiative that will build the best educator preparation program in the nation. We're investing $4 million to support professional development opportunities for school leaders and innovative career advancement opportunities for our best-performing teachers.
Source: 2020 State of the State Address to the Tennessee legislature , Feb 3, 2020

Fund school choice; competition via charters and ESAs

Parents need more choices and those options should be well-funded and highly accountable. I believe highly accountable public charter schools are a great model for expanding choice without sacrificing quality, and I've seen how they can impact the life and trajectory of a student. We are doubling the amount of public charter school facility funding and I will support legislation this year that makes it easier to open good charter schools and easier to close bad ones.

Education Savings Accounts will enable low-income students from under-performing school districts to attend an independent school of their choice at no cost to their family. I know there's concern that this will take money from public schools, but my plan will invest at least $25 million new dollars in public schools in the first year. Creating competition will provide a new incentive for schools to improve and provide new opportunities for thousands of students.

Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Tennessee legislature , Mar 6, 2019

Schools must focus on acquiring job skills

The job market can change quickly and education must stay in sync with industry. Elementary and middle schools need to begin skills training earlier and, from top to bottom, high school needs to look a lot different. I'm proposing the Governor's Investment in Vocational Education--the GIVE Act--a $25 million investment to increase the number of young adults earning an industry certification and entering a career within one year of high school graduation.

I recently announced the Future Workforce Initiative, a $4 million effort to increase STEM training in K-12 schools. The Future Workforce Initiative will add 100 new CTE programs, grow the number of teachers qualified to teach work-based learning and computer science classes, and expand access to AP courses and early postsecondary options for high schoolers. We are also investing in agricultural education by allocating new recurring funding for both FFA and 4-H youth programs.

Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Tennessee legislature , Mar 6, 2019

Teach civics, with unapologetic American exceptionalism

It was reported that young people in this country have a more favorable view of socialism than capitalism. How will our children know of our cherished American values if we do not teach them? We cannot expect future generations to build upon the incredible progress our country has made if we fail to teach them the history and values that made it possible. In this state, our children will be taught civics education, character formation, and unapologetic American exceptionalism.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Tennessee legislature , Mar 6, 2019

Supports charter schools & vouchers

Q: Increase funding for K-12 education?

Karl Dean (D): Yes. Wants to make public education a top priority as governor.

Bill Lee (R): No. Wants to better use existing dollars. Will appoint an inspector general to "seek out waste & abuse in the system."

Q: Education: Support expansion of charter schools or provide vouchers or tax breaks to parents to send their children to private schools with public money?

Karl Dean (D): Opposes vouchers & for-profit charter schools. Believes nonprofit charter schools have a role to play in large urban districts, though "they're not a silver bullet."

Bill Lee (R): Yes. Supports charter schools. "Vouchers are an opportunity to provide another choice. We should certainly pilot voucher programs to see what positive impact they could have."

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Tennessee Governor race , Oct 9, 2018

Education, including vocational, is key to a bright future

Improving our education system is the single most powerful tool for transforming the future. I'll work to improve our workforce development pipeline, increase choice and transparency, and focus on recruiting the best and brightest to lead schools and classrooms. The newfound focus on vocational and technical education is a talking point. It's been my life for 35 years. My company employs 1200, hundreds of which are skilled tradesmen who are in rewarding careers without a college degree.
Source: 2018 Tennessee Gubernatorial website BillLee.com , Jul 4, 2018

Charter schools change lives of at-risk youth

Through a YMCA program aimed at helping at-risk youth, Lee said he met a Nashville high school student, Adam, whom Lee withdrew from a traditional public school and enrolled in a charter school, a decision that he said changed the boy's life. He also cites mentor experiences at Men of Valor, a re-entry program for ex-offenders, as the reasons why he ended up being part of the state's Higher Education Commission and Gov. Bill Haslam's Task Force on Sentencing and Recidivism.

Those experiences helped form his views on education, public safety and correction. He said he developed "a vision for something bigger" and found himself wondering whether he could expand his influence. "What if I could make life better for six and a half million people? That was a compelling thought to me," he said. "That is really what drove me to consider running for governor."

Source: The Tennessean on 2018 Tennessee gubernatorial race , Apr 23, 2017

Other governors on Education: Bill Lee on other issues:
TN Gubernatorial:
Bill Haslam
Carnita Atwater
David French
Diane Black
J B Smiley
Karl Dean
Mark Green
TN Senatorial:
Bill Hagerty
Bob Corker
James Mackler
Lamar Alexander
Larry Crim
Manny Sethi
Marquita Bradshaw
Marsha Blackburn
Phil Bredesen
Stephen Fincher
Gubernatorial Debates 2021:
CA Recall:
S.D.Mayor Kevin_Faulconer(R)
vs.Former Gov. nominee John Cox(R)
vs.Former U.S.Rep Doug Ose(R)
vs.Laura Smith(R)
vs.Former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner(R)
vs.Radio Host Larry Elder(R)
vs.Kevin Paffrath(D) vs.Gavin Newsom(D)
NJ: Incumbent Phil Murphy(D)
vs.State Rep. Jack Ciattarelli(R)
vs.Candidate Hirsh Singh(R)
vs.GOP Chair Doug Steinhardt(R)
VA: Incumbent Ralph Northam(D,term-limited)
vs.Former Governor Terry McAuliffe(D)
vs.CEO Glenn Youngkin(R)
vs.A.G. Mark Herring(D)
vs.State Sen. Amanda Chase(I)
vs.Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax(D)
vs.State Rep. Jennifer Carroll Foy(D)
vs.State Rep. Lee Carter(D)
vs.State Sen. Jennifer McClellan(D)
vs.State Rep. Kirk Cox(R)
vs.CEO Pete Snyder(R)

Gubernatorial Debates 2023:
KY: Incumbent Andy Beshear(D)
vs.Former Gov. Matt Bevin(? R)

vs.Senator Rand Paul(? R)
vs.State Auditor Mark Harmon(R)
LA: Incumbent John Bel Edwards(D,term-limited)
vs.Biden Adviser Cedric Richmond(? D)
vs.Senator John Neely Kennedy(? R)
MS: Incumbent Tate Reeves(R)
vs.Bill Waller(R)

Gubernatorial Debates 2022:
AK: Incumbent Mike Dunleavy(R)
vs.Bill Walker(I)
vs.Les Gara(D)
vs.Billy Toien(L)
AL: Incumbent Kay Ivey(R)
vs.Chris Countryman(D)
AR: Incumbent Asa Hutchinson(R,term-limited)
vs.Trump Adviser Sarah Huckabee Sanders(R)
vs.A.G. Leslie Rutledge(R,withdrew Nov.2021)
vs.Ricky Dale Harrington(L)
vs.Anthony Bland(D)
AZ: Incumbent Doug Ducey(R,term-limited)
Mayor Marco Lopez(D)
vs.Former news anchor Kari Lake(R)
vs.Secretary of State Katie Hobbs(D)
vs.State Treasurer Kimberly Yee(R)
vs.U.S.Rep.Matt Salmon(R)
vs.Steve Gaynor(R)
vs.State Rep.Aaron Lieberman(D)
vs.Jorge Rivas(R)
CA: Incumbent Gavin Newsom(D)
vs.S.D.Mayor Kevin_Faulconer(R)
vs.Former Gov. nominee John Cox(R)
vs.Kevin Paffrath(D)
CO: Incumbent Jared Polis(D)
vs.Mayor Greg Lopez(R)
vs.Heidi Ganahl(R)
CT: Incumbent Ned Lamont(D)
vs.Bob Stefanowski(? R)
FL: Incumbent Ron DeSantis(R)
vs.Former Gov.Charlie Crist(D)
vs.Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried(D)
GA: Incumbent Brian Kemp(R)
vs.Minority Leader Stacey Abrams(D)
vs.Senate candidate Shane Hazel(L)
vs.State Rep.Vernon Jones(R)
vs.2020 candidate Kandiss Taylor(R)
HI: Incumbent David Ige(D,term-limited)
vs.Marissa Kerns(R)
vs.Lt.Gov.Josh Green(D)
vs.Vicky Cayetano(D)
vs.Paul Morgan(R)
IA: Incumbent Kim Reynolds(R)
vs.Deidre DeJear(D)
vs.State Rep.Ras Smith(D)
ID: Incumbent Brad Little(R)
vs.Raul Labrador(R)
vs.Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin(R)
vs.Ammon Bundy(R)
vs.Ed Humphreys(R)
IL: Incumbent J.B. Pritzker(D)
vs.State Sen.Darren Bailey(R)
vs.Paul Schimpf(R)
vs.Jesse Sullivan(R)
KS: Incumbent Laura Kelly(D)
vs.Jeff Colyer(R)
vs.State Sen.Derek Schmidt(R)
vs.Chase LaPorte(R)
Gubernatorial Debates 2022 (continued):
MA: Incumbent Charlie Baker(R)
vs.Lt.Gov.Karyn Polito(R)
vs.State Rep. Geoff Diehl(R)
vs.Harvard Professor Danielle Allen(D)
vs.State Sen.Ben Downing(D)
vs.State Sen.Sonia Chang-Diaz(D)
MD: Incumbent Larry Hogan(R,term-limited)
vs.State Rep. Robin Ficker(R)
vs.State Rep. Peter Franchot(D)
vs.State Del.Kelly M. Schulz(R)
vs.Secretary John B. King(D)
vs.Obama administration Ashwani Jain(D)
vs.State attorney-general Doug Gansler(D)
vs.County executive Rushern Baker(D)
vs.Secretary Thomas Perez(D)
vs.Wes Moore(D)
vs.Dan Cox(R)
ME: Incumbent Janet Mills(D)
vs.Former Gov. Paul LePage(R)
MI: Incumbent Gretchen Whitmer(D)
vs.Chief James Craig(R)
vs.Police Chief Tudor Dixon(R)
vs.Garrett Soldano(R)
MN: Incumbent Tim Walz(DFL)
vs.Mayor Mike Murphy(R)
vs.State Sen.Scott Jensen(R)
vs.Michelle Benson(R)
vs.Paul Gazelka(R)
NE: Incumbent Pete Ricketts(R,term-limited)
vs.U.S.Senator Bob Krist(R)
vs.Chuck Herbster(R)
vs.Jim Pillen(R)
vs.Brett Lindstrom(R)
vs.Carol Blood(D)
NH: Incumbent Chris Sununu(R)
vs.Dan Feltes(D)
vs.Karen Testerman(R)
NM: Incumbent Michelle Lujan Grisham(D)
vs.Commissioner Jay Block(R)
vs.State Rep.Rebecca Dow(R)
NV: Incumbent Steve Sisolak(D)
vs.A.G.Adam Laxalt(R)
vs.North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee(R)
vs.Dean Heller(R)
vs.Joe Lombardo(R)
NY: Incumbent Andrew Cuomo(D)
vs.Lt.Gov.Kathy Hochul(D)
vs.Rob Astorino(R)
vs.Andrew Giuliani(R)
vs.US.Rep.Lee Zeldin(R)
OH: Incumbent Mike DeWine(R)
vs.Former Rep.Jim Renacci(R)
vs.Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley(D)
vs.Mayor John Cranley(D)
OK: Incumbent Kevin Stitt(R)
vs.State Sen. Ervin Yen(R)
vs.Connie Johnson(D)
vs.Joy Hofmeister(D)
OR: Incumbent Kate Brown(D,term-limited)
vs.Gov. nominee Bud Pierce(R)
vs.Paul Romero(R)
vs.Casey Kulla(D)
vs.Kerry McQuisten(R)
vs.Tina Kotek(D)
vs.Nicholas Kristof(D)
PA: Incumbent Tom Wolf(D,term-limited)
vs.U.S.Rep. Lou Barletta(R)
vs.Commissioner Joe Gale(R)
vs.A.G.Josh Shapiro(D)
vs.William McSwain(R)
RI: Incumbent Gina Raimondo(D,to Cabinet)
vs.Gov. Dan McKee(D)
vs.Secy.Matt Brown(D)
vs.Mayor Allan Fung(R ?)
vs.Luis-Daniel Munoz(D)
vs.RI Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea(D)
vs.Seth Magainer(D)
vs.Helena Foulkes(D)
SC: Incumbent Henry McMaster(R)
vs.US.Rep.Joe Cunningham(D)
vs.State senator Mia McLeod(D)
SD: Incumbent Kristi Noem(R)
vs.State Rep. Billie Sutton(? D)
TN: Incumbent Bill Lee(R)
vs.Carnita Atwater(D)
vs.J B Smiley(D)
TX: Incumbent Greg Abbott(R)
vs.Chad Prather(R)
vs.State Sen.Don Huffines(R)
vs.U.S.Rep. Allen West(R)
vs.Deidre Gilbert(D)
VT: Incumbent Phil Scott(R)
(no prospective opponents yet)
WI: Incumbent Tony Evers(D)
vs.CEO Jonathan Wichmann(R)
vs.Rebecca Kleefisch(R)
WY: Incumbent Mark Gordon(R)
vs.Rex Rammell(R)
vs.Minority Leader Chris Rothfuss(? D)
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Page last updated: Nov 11, 2021