KINGSPORT — Kingsport City Schools leaders backed common core standards, taxing authority for special school districts and keeping local control over schools while opposing vouchers and elected superintendents during a legislative luncheon with two state lawmakers on Friday.
Dobyns-Bennett High School culinary arts students served Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and state Rep. Jon Lundberg while KCS Board of Education (BOE) members dished out their legislative positions on issues that could come before the Tennessee General Assembly next year.
At the top of that list was support for common core standards, a statewide initiative emphasizing thinking, problem-solving and creativity through next-generation assessments that go beyond multiple-choice tests.
“The journey began a long time ago to get to where we are now,” BOE Vice President Susan Lodal said of the standards, expected to prepare students with essential knowledge and skills to compete in an increasingly global environment.
On school vouchers, Gov. Bill Haslam pulled his legislation in the last legislative session for a limited voucher program for failing schools, but KCS feels any voucher program diverts money intended for public education.
“We just believe it’s not good public policy,” KCS Superintendent Lyle Ailshie told Lundberg and Ramsey, who suggested a voucher bill next year probably would not affect Northeast Tennessee.
On any proposal to revert to electing superintendents, BOE member Betsy Cooper said it would be a step backward.
For more on this story read Saturday's print edition of the Times-News or the expanded e-edition.