Tennessee lawmakers have approved two bills that will help students pursue a wider range of quality educational opportunities.
Senate Bill 1896, sponsored by Senate Education Chair Dolores Gresham, revises and enhances the state’s course access program prior to its anticipated launch later this year. The program will allow students in Tennessee public middle and high schools to take advantage of classes from other public schools, colleges, universities and other providers across the state, offering critical content they would not otherwise be able to access. The companion legislation was House Bill 1778, sponsored by House Education Instruction & Programs Subcommittee Chair Roger Kane.
House Bill 1870, sponsored by Rep. Bill Dunn, provides more equitable funding for special needs students in Tennessee public charter schools. These funds are critical to ensuring that these students receive a customized education tailored to their unique needs. The companion bill was Senate Bill 1901, also sponsored by Sen. Gresham.
Both bills are headed to Gov. Bill Haslam for his signature.
“The bipartisan support for these bills demonstrates the commitment from policymakers in both parties to give Tennessee students the resources they need to succeed. No one school can offer every course a student might want or need to prepare them for success in college and the workplace. The new course access program will help address those gaps. And the additional support for charter schools will help special needs students thrive.
“We’d like to thank Sen. Gresham, Rep. Kane and Rep. Dunn for their leadership. We’d also like to thank our partners, including the Beacon Center of Tennessee, TennesseeCAN and the Tennessee Charter School Center, for their work on these important policies.”
Ryan Mahoney, Southeast Legislative Director, ExcelinEd in Action
For more information about the power of educational opportunity, visit the ExcelinEd policy library.