Tennessee education advocates call for policy changes

Posted at 6:55 AM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-19 08:14:35-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Education advocates are heading to the State Capitol to lobby for change to improve your student's success. Leaders from across Tennessee will meet with state lawmakers to discuss policies.

These advocates want to talk about four main points today with our elected officials. The goal is to create policies for future improvements for student achievement.

One item on the agenda is to expand Voluntary Pre-K in economically distressed rural communities. Next, they want to talk about creating a Child Care Task Force to try to tackle the growing crisis faced by working parents with children under 5. Then they also want all $732 million TANF [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families] funds to be made available to Tennesseans.

Lastly, a group of advocates also want to revisit a bill that stalled last year. Lawmakers wanted to increase the number of full-time nurses in every public school.

Right now, there's one nurse to every 3,000 students. However, advocates want to bring that number to one for every 750 students. That would mean hiring more than a thousand nurses to work in schools across the state.

The bill's sponsor Rep. David Hawk (R -- Greeneville) says he knows this effort is pricey. He wants this to move to the finance committee to see about making this happen. Those discussions could take as much as a couple of years before action is taken.