Special legislative session begins in Tenn. to address learning loss, other issues caused by pandemic

Tenn. special legislative session on education starts today

TENNESSEE (WMC) - Governor Bill Lee called for the special session on Tuesday. Not only will it involve discussing learning loss, but also funding, accountability, literacy, and teacher pay.

The state said third graders are facing a 50 percent drop in reading proficiency and a 65 percent drop in math proficiency. Lee said it will get worse if lawmakers don’t act immediately.

Earlier this month, the governor announced a package of proposals he wants lawmakers to pass.

One requires interventions, like after-school mini-camps and summer learning programs to help students struggling in reading and math.

It also creates a literacy learning corps of tutors to help students throughout the school year.

Another bill helps ensure schools are using a phonics-based approach to teach students to read. And another bill the governor is pushing would keep students, teachers, schools, and districts from facing any negative consequences related to student testing.

“The special session is being called in order to address these issues early so we can implement them this year at least by the summer but certainly in this school year,” Lee said.

The governor said he also wants to increase teacher pay - but hasn’t offered specifics.

Lee said other bills he supports will be announced soon as well.

Tuesday’s special legislative session will mark the third time Lee has called a special legislative session.

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