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Editorial Results (free)

1. Panel Makes Common Core Compromise Proposal -

NASHVILLE (AP) – A special committee of lawmakers on Tuesday recommended that the testing component of Tennessee's Common Core education standards be delayed for one year.

The House and Senate will now vote whether to accept the conference committee report before it heads to the desk of the governor, who has said he'd rather not delay the testing.

2. Bill Changes Way Charter Schools Authorized -

The state Senate has approved legislation that changes the way certain charter schools are authorized.

The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Dolores Gresham of Somerville was approved 20-12 on Thursday. The House version was approved 62-30 last year. It must now approve technical changes made by the Senate before heading to the governor for his consideration.

3. Bill Changes Way Charter Schools Authorized -

The state Senate has approved legislation that changes the way certain charter schools are authorized.

The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Dolores Gresham of Somerville was approved 20-12 on Thursday. The House version was approved 62-30 last year. It must now approve technical changes made by the Senate before heading to the governor for his consideration.

4. Talking Sex -

ALL OF OUR COLLEGE PRESIDENTS SHOULD GET SEXY. The Tennessee General Assembly has long been afraid of sex.

When I was a UT student in the late sixties, the Tennessee legislature proposed a law making it illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to view nude art. On the humanities complex plaza, stood and still stands a huge statue of Europa and the Bull – both starkers and anatomically and quite dramatically correct. The morning after the news of the proposed law broke, Europa was wearing a huge bra and the bull a jock strap, fashioned from sheets – lots of them – and placed on the statue by enterprising students in the night.

5. UT President Says School Can't Ban Sex Week Event -

NASHVILLE (AP) – University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro is urging lawmakers not to pursue legislation that would penalize the school over its student-run Sex Week.

In a letter this week to Senate Education Chairwoman Dolores Gresham and Senate Government Operations Chairman Mike Bell, DiPietro argued that First Amendment protections prevent the school from ending the event that has raised the hackles of GOP leaders in the Legislature.

6. Senate Leaders Threaten UT Funding Over Sex Week -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Republican leaders in the state Senate are warning that new funding for the University of Tennessee could be threatened over the use of student fees for a weeklong program about sex.

7. Gresham Tackles Hot Issues on Senate Education Committee -

As chair of the Tennessee Senate Education Committee, Sen. Dolores Gresham has plenty of hot-button issues crossing her desk these days.

8. Senate School Voucher Bill Delayed -

NASHVILLE (AP) – The Senate version of a bill to create a school voucher program in Tennessee has been delayed to allow sponsors of the measure and a competing version to try to work out differences.

9. Republicans, Governor Discuss Voucher Bill -

Republican state lawmakers have proposed a school voucher bill they hope will be acceptable to Gov. Bill Haslam, who has repeatedly said he favors a more limited version of the program that gives parents another option for educating their children.

10. Republicans, Governor Discuss Voucher Bill -

Republican state lawmakers have proposed a school voucher bill they hope will be acceptable to Gov. Bill Haslam, who has repeatedly said he favors a more limited version of the program that gives parents another option for educating their children.

11. Lawmakers Want Review of Book Selection Process -

The heads of two legislative committees say the process for selecting books for state schools is flawed and needs to be fixed.

Tennessee Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Dolores Gresham and Senate Government Operations Committee Chairman Mike Bell have sent a letter to the State Board of Education asking the panel to re-examine the list of books recommended to it by the Tennessee Textbook Commission.

12. Increasing Teacher Pay Next Goal for Haslam -

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signaled last week that the next front in an increasingly vocal debate about education reform in the state will be over increasing teacher pay.

During a press conference Thursday, Oct. 3, in Nashville, Haslam set a goal of becoming “the fastest improving state in the U.S. when it comes to teacher pay.”

13. Panel to Review State's Textbook Selection Process -

NASHVILLE (AP) – The state Senate Education Committee plans a hearing in October to review Tennessee's textbook selection process for K-12 schools.

Republican Sen. Dolores Gresham of Somerville is the committee's chairwoman. She announced this week that the panel will review the role and work of the state's Textbook Commission and Tennessee laws governing textbook selection to help ensure an accurate and unbiased approach.

14. State Panel to Explore New Common Core Standards -

The chairwoman of the state Senate Education Committee says the panel will hold meetings during the summer or fall to discuss a new set of uniform benchmarks for math and reading.

The common core state standards are being adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia.

15. Failed Education Bills on Radar for Next Session -

NASHVILLE (AP) – In the last few years, Tennessee hasn't shied away from contentious education initiatives as it seeks to remain at the forefront of education reform in the nation.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has even characterized the state's efforts as "courageous leadership."

16. Senate OKs Tennessee Animal Abuse Reporting Bill -

NASHVILLE (AP) – A proposal that would require anyone recording images of animal abuse to submit unedited footage or photos to law enforcement within 48 hours has passed the Senate.

The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Dolores Gresham of Somerville was approved 22-9 on Tuesday. The companion bill is awaiting a vote on the House floor.

17. House Barely Approves Animal Abuse Reporting Bill -

NASHVILLE (AP) – A bill seeking to require anyone recording or taking photos of livestock abuse to turn images over to law enforcement within 48 hours was approved in the House on Wednesday with the bare vote minimum needed.

18. Charter School Authorizer Bill Advances -

NASHVILLE (AP) – The sponsor of a proposal that seeks to change the way certain charter schools are authorized said Wednesday the measure is needed to continue education reform in Tennessee.

19. Animal Abuse Reporting Bill Hits Senate Snag -

An effort to require whistleblowers to quickly submit damning evidence of animal abuse to law enforcement has hit a snag in the state Senate over questions about the true intentions of the bill.

The bill sponsored by Sen. Dolores Gresham of Somerville and fellow Republican Rep. Andy Holt of Dresden would require anyone recording images of animal abuse submit unedited footage or photos to law enforcement within 48 hours.

20. Charter Panel Bill Slowed in Senate -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Lawmakers questioned a proposal to create a special panel to authorize charter schools in several Tennessee counties during debate at the state Legislature Tuesday, while a nonprofit group criticized the governor's decision to withdraw his school voucher program.

21. Haslam School Voucher Bill Dead This Session -

NASHVILLE (AP) – The Republican leader carrying Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to create school vouchers in Tennessee said he's decided to let it die this session because he's tired of the "gamesmanship."

22. Humane Society Hires Former State Rep. Swafford -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Former state Rep. Eric Swafford has been hired by the Humane Society of the United States as an outreach director.

23. Competing School Voucher Bill Withdrawn -

NASHVILLE (AP) – The sponsor of legislation that was competing with Gov. Bill Haslam's to create a school voucher program withdrew her bill on Wednesday after proponents of a broader program decided they want to focus on the governor's plan.

24. Competing Voucher Bills Gearing Up in Legislature -

The Republican sponsor of a measure competing with Gov. Bill Haslam’s to create a school voucher program in Tennessee says she’s convinced the initiative should be broader than what the governor is proposing.

25. Competing Voucher Bills Gearing up in Legislature -

The Republican sponsor of a measure competing with Gov. Bill Haslam’s to create a school voucher program in Tennessee says she’s convinced the initiative should be broader than what the governor is proposing.

26. Senator's Traffic Stop Part of Vanderbilt Police Debate -

NASHVILLE (AP) – The effort to strip Vanderbilt University of its police force over a nondiscrimination policy for student groups has brought up a traffic stop involving the chairwoman of the Senate committee handling the bill, but the lawmaker says she doesn't know why the incident has become part of the debate.

27. Revised Tenn. Lottery Scholarship Bill Advances -

NASHVILLE (AP) – Democratic leaders say a revised proposal that would make cutting some students' lottery scholarships in half contingent on lottery revenues is unnecessary because the measure wouldn't be effective for at least another three years.

28. Berke Earning Respect on Both Sides of Aisle -

State Sen. Andy Berke said he had no expectations of what public office would be like when he was elected in 2007.

In fact, he said somewhat sheepishly, he “literally had not been to the legislature since my fourth-grade field trip. … By the way, that’s a mistake. I now realize I should have been paying more attention all along.”

29. Bill to Change Method of Placing Teachers on Board -

A proposal that would prevent teacher organizations from voting members onto the state pension board has passed the Senate.

The measure sponsored by Sen. Dolores Gresham, a Somerville Republican and chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee, was approved 20-13 on a party-line vote Wednesday.

30. State Legislators Look for Education on Schools Standoff -

Most members of the Tennessee Legislature are just now getting a crash course in the controversy that has dominated Memphis and Shelby County politics since Thanksgiving.

As the state House and Senate prepare for fast-tracked votes Monday evening in Nashville on schools consolidation legislation, they aren’t getting a lot of help from Democrats or Republicans in the Shelby County legislative delegation.

31. Regents Asked to Expand Search for Chancellor -

The chairman of the Senate Education Committee has asked the Tennessee Board of Regents for an expanded search to find a chancellor for the board.

Dolores Gresham, R-Somerville, sent a letter Thursday to the 18 members of the board.

32. Bill Would Make Jailers Determine Immigrant Status -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A bill that would require Tennessee jailers to determine whether inmates are in the country illegally and deport them if they are would offer an easy way to fight illegal immigration in the state, the sponsors of the legislation say.

33. Lawmakers Differ on Education Funding Proposal -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Lawmakers from both parties agree that K-12 education in Tennessee should be a priority, but they disagree over legislation that would fund it out of an education budget separate from the rest of the state's spending plan.

34. Reports Show Final PAC Contributions in Tennessee -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The final campaign finance reports before Tuesday's election show a last minute flurry of contributions from political action committees to legislative candidates and causes in Tennessee.

35. House Thrown Into Chaos Over Abortion Amendment -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The House was thrown into chaos on Thursday over a failed Republican maneuver to try to resurrect an anti-abortion amendment.

Rep. Bill Dunn, a Knoxville Republican, attached a measure to bring the anti-abortion amendment to the floor to an unrelated resolution on legislative meeting times.

36. Abortion Amendment Sponsor to Seek Full House Vote -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The sponsor of a proposal to change the Tennessee Constitution to allow the state to impose greater limits on abortions has given notice that she plans to try to bring the measure up for a full House floor vote.

37. Black Caucus Upset Democrat Excluded From Anti-Abortion Bill -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Legislature's Black Caucus has lodged a complaint with House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh about a Republican member's exclusion of a Democratic lawmaker who wanted to co-sponsor an anti-abortion resolution.

38. Abortion Resolution Fails Again in House Subcommittee -

NASHVILLE (AP) - A resolution that would change the state's constitution to allow more limits on abortion has failed again in a House subcommittee, but supporters say they aren't giving up hope this year.

39. Conservation Group Releases Ratings of State Lawmakers -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Democratic Sens. Beverly Marrero and Rosalind Kurita tied for the top score in the Tennessee Conservation Voters' annual ratings of lawmakers released Monday.

Kurita, of Clarksville, and Marrero, of Memphis, each scored 11 points on the group's scale based on votes cast on selected legislation affecting the environment.

40. Legislator of the Year Award Honors 'Reluctant Candidate' -

Rep. Dolores Gresham, R-Somerville, admits that when she began campaigning for the first time in 2000, she believed most voters were indifferent when it came to politics.

Now, seven years after she was elected to represent the 94th District in the Tennessee General Assembly, she could not disagree more.