Rise & Shine: Tennessee adds nationally certified teachers but still trails in the South

Good morning!

We interrupt your regularly scheduled Rise & Shine with this announcement: Chalkbeat is looking for math teachers to show the world what teaching really takes.

This March, we’re launching the first-ever Great American Teach-Off at the SXSW EDU conference in Austin, Texas. Interested in participating? Enter here today.

We now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

—Marta W. Aldrich, bureau chief

GOLD STANDARD TEACHERS  Twenty Tennessee educators earn a national certification that’s considered the profession’s highest mark of achievement, although the state continues to lag in the South in growing that community. Chalkbeat, Winchester Herald Chronicle

LANDFILL DUMPED  Memphis City Council members vote unanimously to block expansion of a landfill near an elementary school in the Frayser community. The Commercial Appeal, Memphis Daily News, WREG, Fox13

CURBING GROWTH  Concerned about increasing mobility and overcrowding schools, Germantown hits the brakes on growth, banning new apartment projects in the Memphis bedroom community for the next year and a half. WMC, WREG

WORK-BASED LEARNING  The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development awards work-based learning grants to 29 school districts to promote career skills and readiness. The Chattanoogan, Johnson City Press, Elizabethton Star

TAXING AUTHORITY  Saying that “schools are being built faster than we can pay for them,” a Rutherford County commissioner urges state lawmakers to expand taxing alternatives to help pay for new schools. Daily News Journal

SALES TAX  Williamson Countians discuss a proposed sales tax increase to help pay for school construction south of Nashville. The Tennessean, WSMV

SUPERINTENDENT EXIT  Rutherford County Director Don Odom tells his school board he’ll retire June 30. Daily News Journal

LEADERSHIP TEAM  Hamilton County Schools announces one of its last major staff appointments since Superintendent Bryan Johnson took the helm last summer. Times Free Press, The Chattanoogan

COMMUNITY SCHOOLS  Hamilton County’s first community school celebrates its one-year anniversary as officials look to duplicate the model in other high-needs schools. Times Free Press

BUS TRANSPORTATION  Some East Tennessee school bus supervisors believe new state laws aimed at keeping children safer on their way to school will work, but others say the new regulations could make it more difficult to find enough bus drivers to fill routes. Johnson City Press

LENOVO LAPTOPS  Maryville students entering grades 8-12 will pick up smaller and more powerful laptops in July following approval by the city’s school board. The Daily Times

CHOICE AND CONSEQUENCES  A new study puts a price tag on the growth of the charter school sector in North Carolina, where one district’s schools lost between $500 and $700 per student. Chalkbeat

PRESIDENT WINFREY?  There’s renewed buzz about Oprah running for president after her speech at this week’s Golden Globes. Here’s what we know about Oprah’s outlook on education. Chalkbeat