Rise & Shine: Gov. Lee says ‘parent choice’ education initiative coming soon

Good morning!

Yesterday was the filing deadline for bills in the state legislature. None explicitly push for private school tuition vouchers or something like them, but that doesn't mean one of the bills couldn't be amended later. Gov. Bill Lee says he's still mulling what kind of "parent choice" initiative he'll promote.

In Memphis, school board members mulled over who would pay for their upcoming national superintendent search, while a crowd of principals, teachers, parents, and students said a national search isn't necessary. They urged them to stay with Joris Ray, the career Memphis educator who started as interim superintendent last month.

— Laura Faith Kebede, reporter

VOUCHERS Gov. Bill Lee hinted that he soon will introduce a legislative initiative to give parents more education options for their children, even as Wednesday’s deadline passed to file bills for lawmakers to consider this year. Chalkbeat, The Associated Press

‘STAY WITH RAY’ As school board members approved a contract Wednesday for Shelby County Schools’ Interim Superintendent Joris Ray, a vocal contingent of principals, teachers, parents, and students told them that Ray should stay on long-term. Chalkbeat, WMCThe Commercial Appeal, Local Memphis

NO THANKS Citing appearance of ‘bias,’ Memphis board members plan to reject philanthropy offer to pay for superintendent search. Chalkbeat

REPURPOSE Now that other shuttered Memphis schools like the historic Melrose High and Georgia Avenue Elementary are seeing new interest and investment, residents wonder if there is hope again for Messick. High Ground News

EARLY CHILDHOOD Tennessee lawmakers hope a newly formed Senate and House caucus can take a focused look on strategies that increase the state’s stubbornly low third-grade math and reading scores. The Tennessean

FUTURE OF WORK A first-year state senator from Memphis wants to add middle school offerings to Gov. Bill Lee’s proposal to bolster career and technical education. Daily Memphian

STUDENT HEALTH Blount County Schools administrators say they are seeing students with emotional and mental illnesses on a scale they’ve never seen before, particularly in the lower grades. The Daily Times

OUT SICK Knox County Schools will close the rest of the week “due to an increasing number of students, staff and substitutes who are affected by illness.” Knoxville News Sentinel

SLEEPY TEENS Jackson-Madison school officials again punt a decision on letting high schoolers start school later in the morning. The Jackson Sun

NEW BUILDING The Hamilton County commission approves $42 million for a new middle school. Times Free Press

STAYING OUT OF IT Teachers in Colorado’s largest school district are preparing to strike on Monday after Gov. Jared Polis announced he would not intervene in a pay dispute between the Denver school district and the teachers union. Chalkbeat

OPINION Collierville Schools’ racial disparities in discipline practices reflect a growing suburban issue. The Commercial Appeal