Memphis teachers travel to Nashville to protest bills regarding K-12 schools

Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 6:28 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Dozens of Memphis-area teachers loaded a charter bus Monday morning to travel to Nashville ahead of the 113th General Assembly.

The teachers met at the Memphis Shelby County Education Association where they discussed their disapproval of a few bills ahead of their trip.

One bill they plan to protest retains kindergarten through 3rd grade students for low reading scores. Teachers said they don’t believe the bill is fair.

“There should be intervention programs because we’re just now coming out of a pandemic from the year 2020 to 2022 and we’re still in a pandemic,” explained teacher and State Executive Committee for District 33, Rosemary Winters. “A lot of our students have lost learning due to the pandemic.”

Another bill allows teachers, administrators or anyone licensed to carry a gun inside K-12 schools. Monday, teachers said they believe the bill creates safety concerns.

“For example, if a teacher places a gun that they thought they may have locked with key, students could be watching those teachers and go and get those guns,” Winters explained. “And therefore the guns are available and we would have a crisis in our school.”

They also plan to inquire more about the Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement or TISA Act passed April 2022. The bill, passed last year, provides $1 billion in funding to public schools. The teachers said now nearly one year later, they are still unsure where this funding will go specifically.

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