Gov. Lee calls for special legislative session to address education issues


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — Gov. Bill Lee is calling on the Tennessee General Assembly to convene in a special session to address issues surrounding education.

The governor wants state legislators to meet on Jan. 19 to discuss five key issues: learning loss, funding, accountability, literacy, and teacher pay.

“We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused immense disruption for Tennessee’s students, educators, and districts, and the challenges they face must be addressed urgently,” Gov. Lee said in a release. “Even before the virus hit, and despite years of improvement, too many of our state’s students were still unable to read on grade level. I’m calling on the legislature to join us in addressing these serious issues so we can equip our hardworking educators and districts with the resources and supports they need to set our students on the path to success.”

According to the governor’s office, preliminary data projects an estimated 50 percent decrease in proficiency rates in 3rd grade reading and a 65 percent decrease in math proficiency. Only one-third of Tennessee 3rd graders were reading on grade level prior to the pandemic, according to Lee.

The governor’s office says details on each proposal will be released by the Department of Education in the the near future.

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