Jan 29 2013
07:41 am

Tom Humphrey reports on Gov. Haslam's State of the State address, in which the governor announced several new initiatives, touched briefly on Medicaid expansion (no decision yet) and defended school choice (vouchers)...

Highlights from Haslam's address

Text of Gov. Haslam's State of the State address

Press release from governor's office

AP report on proposed $32.7 Billion Budget for Next Year

Haslam's remarks on vouchers

R. Neal's picture

One thing I find interesting

One thing I find interesting is that many of the same talking points and statistics were mentioned at the ETSPJ legislative preview luncheon this past Saturday.

It appears that the TNGOP are all on the same page, or at least the governor and the East Tennessee delegation. Democrats should be so organized.

R. Neal's picture

The Democratic

The Democratic "pre-sponse"...

EricLykins's picture

Medicaid expansion polls

Medicaid expansion polls well, even in Texas.

jbr's picture

Highest percentage of uninsured people in Texas

24.6% - The percentage of uninsured people in Texas, the highest of any state.

From CNN ...

By the numbers: Health insurance

EricLykins's picture

Concerning the Tennessee

Concerning the Tennessee First Act, I don't fully understand state reciprocal and preference practices.

Our current reciprocal (retaliatory?) resident bidder preference is similar to Kentucky's recently enacted legislation with the addition that we go out of our way to extend the preference not only to resident bidders, but to bidders from states that allow no preference.

Confused. Help.

Indya's picture

vouchers don't work

Governor Haslam makes it sound like the biggest problem with vouchers is that it drains money from public schools. That is a problem, but not among the biggest ones.

The bigger problems are:

1. Vouchers don't improve academic outcomes for kids that use them.
2. Vouchers further concentrate the most at-risk kids.

Economic integration within public schools is a cheaper and more effective way to improve academic outcomes for all students, including at-risk kids. Vouchers do just the opposite.

How to promote economic integration? Housing policy, high performing magnet schools, excellent academics at all schools, multiple paths for kids to follow towards graduation, transportation for kids to access these paths.

What about the 'strivers' i.e. high performing kids stuck in low-performing schools? I am very sympathetic to the plight of all students whose learning is inhibited by low expectations and/or disruptive classmates. The answer is to insist on high expectations for all and provide the support needed to reach them.

As for disruptive students, many times a poorly behaved student behaves well for some teachers and horribly for others. So classroom management needs to be taught more explicitly, teachers learning from their colleagues, benefiting from behavior specialists, and so forth. I've seen it work. Also more alternative schools, not just for disciplinary issues, but for kids who want to follow different paths, technical, artistic, digital, whatever.

Of course there are other proven ways to help at-risk kids, e.g. high quality pre-k, extended instructional time and tutoring, but those require more resources, which are not, evidently, forthcoming.

Vouchers don't improve academic outcomes for kids. The only beneficiaries are private schools who get to cherry-pick subsidized students with no academic or financial accountability attached.

R. Neal's picture

+1 Also, I'm not clear on how


Also, I'm not clear on how a $7000 or whatever voucher for low-income families will pay for tuition, books, uniforms, fees, activities, etc. etc. at a private school.

Min's picture

That's why Ramsey wants to have vouchers for all students.

Because it isn't about providing better education to poor kids. Poor kids are still going to be stuck in the defunded public schools. Vouchers are for upper middle class students whose parents want to subsidize their private/religious school education with tax dollars.

R. Neal's picture

Tom Humphrey: Legislator

Tom Humphrey: Legislator Comments on Voucher Proposal

"The way he rolled it out today, I like it. Eat an elephant, as the saying goes, a bit at a time." -- House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada of Franklin.

In case there was any doubt about their strategy, there you go.

Andy Axel's picture

No need to hurry, especially

No need to hurry, especially once they take a glance across the aisle.

R. Neal's picture

TEA responds to Haslam's

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