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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In his “State of the State” speech
last night before Tennessee’s General Assembly, Governor Bill Haslam devoted a
lot of time to public education, but left the audience with a mixed message on
his plans for our schools.
“While I am pleased that the governor devoted such a
large portion of his address to public education, it is troubling to see his
voucher agenda moving forward,” said Gera Summerford, Sevier County teacher and
Tennessee Education Association president. “Gov. Haslam spoke emphatically
about his commitment to public education. Then his next point was about taking
money from our public schools to give to private schools. To me, that sends a
very mixed message.”
“School voucher programs divert critical funding from
Tennessee public schools have among the top graduation
rates in the country and, at the same time, one of the lowest rates of funding
per student, thereby demonstrating their efficient and effective use of
taxpayer dollars. On the other hand, school voucher programs in other states
have wasted taxpayer money by supporting substandard and unaccredited programs
due to inadequate oversight.
No credible study or research has ever proven the
effectiveness of school vouchers or demonstrated any improvement in student
achievement over public schools,” added Summerford.
“In addition to the financial drain, school vouchers
leave many students behind – including those with greatest need – because
vouchers divert tax dollars to private entities that are not required to accept
all students nor offer the special services students may need,” the TEA
president continued. “In the more than 50 years since school vouchers were
first proposed, vouchers still remain controversial, unproven and unpopular.”
“We applaud the governor’s
continued effort to direct more money to public schools, but let’s not take one
step forward and two steps back. It is not the taxpayer’s job to support
private entities. Let’s keep public money in public schools, supporting
initiatives like the governor’s proposal to update technology and improve
school safety,” Summerford concluded.
Tuesday, January 29 2013, 05:55 PM CST
Houston brother will be his own attorney in court
June 18, 2013 13:02 GMT
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A Roane County man will face federal gun violation charges next month without an attorney.
The Knoxville News Sentinel (http://bit.ly/17VlXpM ) reported Rocky Joe Houston will represent himself on a charge of possession of a gun by a felon.
The charge came after Houston earlier represented himself in state court on charges stemming from a police chase. He was convicted of evading arrest and reckless endangerment.
Houston and his brother, Leon Houston, were tried, but not convicted, in the 2006 shooting deaths of a Roane County deputy and his ride-along companion.
In federal court, Rocky Joe Houston is claiming the officer who charged him with the felony had no legal authority.
Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com
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