Republican businessman Bill Lee promised to bring “fresh ideas” on public education to Tennessee, and he’ll now get the chance as the state’s 50th governor.
In handily defeating Democrat and former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean on Tuesday, the Williamson County millionaire and first-time candidate is poised to replace fellow Republican Bill Haslam, who is completing his eighth year in office.
As governor, Lee can significantly shape public education in a state that has pioneered reforms since 2010 as part of a $500 million federal award. It’s uncertain, though, whether he’ll deviate from the state’s blueprint. On the campaign trail, Lee promised to look more closely at Tennessee’s rocky testing program and controversial teacher evaluation system.
Earlier this year, Chalkbeat asked Lee for his positions on big education issues facing the state. Here are his answers, which have been lightly edited for grammar, style, and length.