Rise & Shine: Lee says literacy remains a priority, despite shrinking funds for Read to be Ready
Good morning and welcome to Wednesday!
In recent days, many Tennessee educators and elected officials were caught off guard by the scope of funding problems for Read to be Ready, a major literacy initiative launched more than three years ago under Gov. Bill Haslam's administration. Not only is a statewide network of literacy coaches being dissolved this month, but the future of more than 200 summer reading camps is uncertain for next year now that a federal grant can't be used to pay for them. We caught up with Gov. Bill Lee to ask him about the developments during his two-day visit to Memphis. Here's what we learned.
On to more headlines!
—Marta W. Aldrich, statehouse correspondent
READ MY LIPS Gov. Bill Lee says he’s committed to Tennessee’s reading goals but is reevaluating strategies as funding dries up for the state’s popular initiative known as Read to be Ready. Chalkbeat
The initiative’s reading camps for disadvantaged children were funded this summer, but are at risk next year Nashville Public Radio, Chalkbeat
CAREER PATHS Many students in Shelby County Schools self-select out of lucrative career paths, according to tests administered last school year to assess the aptitudes of 1,800 middle schoolers. Memphis Business Journal
BUDGET SEASON Shelby County commissioners consider whether to allow Shelby County Schools to roll over funds from their 2019 budget. WREG, Fox13
Williamson County commissioners will vote on a property tax increase in July to pay for schools. The Tennessean, WTVF
Washington County’s school board approves a 2% pay increase for teachers and staff. WCYB
MOVERS & SHAKERS Adrienne Battle will be Nashville’s interim director for at least the next two years under a $285,000-a-year contract approved by the school board. The Tennessean
Hamilton County Superintendent Bryan Johnson is one of 46 people chosen for the seventh class of Leadership Tennessee. The Chattanoogan
HIGH SCHOOLS Here’s how Tennessee high schools rank, according to a new U.S. News and World Report. The Tennessean, Knoxville News Sentinel
WATERSHED WORKSHOP Fourteen teachers from Tennessee and four other states spend their summer break learning about biology in the cool waters of South Chickamauga Creek. Times Free Press
CAMP K An intensive, four-week program to prepare rising kindergartners for school begins its second summer in Chattanooga after generating encouraging results last year. Times Free Press
SCAM ALERT Williamson County Schools warns local businesses about scammers seeking to collect sponsorships for merchandise that promotes area high schools. Brentwood Home Page
WHO IS MARTIN KANE? A Weakley County high school theater and French teacher wins almost $38,000 on the TV game show Jeopardy. The Jackson Sun
CHARTER DEBATE Do charters sap resources from traditional district schools? Here’s what the evidence shows. Chalkbeat
VIRTUAL COUNSELING Rural students often go unnoticed by colleges. Can virtual counseling put them on the map? The Hechinger Report