Legislative Agenda

PRIORITIES

The Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents (TOSS) is committed to advancing public education in the state by advocating on behalf of Tennessee’s students, educators, and administrators.  TOSS’s legislative priorities for this year are to improve statewide assessment and accountability, increase public education funding, and enhance school safety through our work with the Tennessee General Assembly, State Board of Education, and Tennessee Department of Education.

Statewide Assessment & Accountability

  • Supports a requirement that all necessary state assessment results that are used in calculating students’ grades be returned to districts at least five (5) instructional days before the end of the school year. 

  • Supports giving teachers in non-tested grades and subjects the option to choose an increased weight of administrator observation scores in lieu of school-wide growth scores in their evaluation.

  • Supports giving school districts the option to use an alternative academic readiness indicator in lieu of the student growth portfolio model for Pre-K and Kindergarten.  Local districts choosing an alternative to the portfolio model should not be penalized when applying for the state Pre-K grant funds.

  • Supports giving students the option of taking a career assessment in lieu of the ACT/SAT as a state-funded retake option.

Education Funding

  • Supports increased BEP funding to lower the nurse to pupil ratio to 1:700.

  • Supports notification of local funding bodies by the Department of Education when the local funding body does not meet the Maintenance of Effort Test.

school safety

  • Supports additional funding for school safety and security.

  • Supports the addition of clarifying language regarding the law requiring background checks for school employees every five years.

  • Supports the exemption of honorably discharged military veterans, reservists, and National Guard members for the age requirement to drive school buses.


pOSITIONS

Appointed Superintendents

  • Supports the appointment of Superintendents by the elected local board of education.               

Assessments & Accountability

  • Supports online assessments in middle and high school, with high school being phased in first.

  • Supports taking advantage of ESSA flexibility, while researching benchmark states (NAEP) and their statewide assessment programs.

College and Career Readiness        

  • Supports expanding the definition of ready-graduate to include more career pathways options.

Education Funding

  • Supports reversing the funding percentages of the four months used or to choose the four months of highest student enrollment. 

  • Supports calculating health insurance factor by averaging health plans chosen rather than health plans provided.

  • Supports increased funding for school counselors, social workers and mental health providers.

  • Supports increased funding for Pre-K education.

School Safety

  • Supports additional funding for school safety and security.

Vouchers

  • Opposes any legislation that uses public funds to sponsor private school vouchers or education savings accounts.  

Other

  • Encourages the TN General Assembly not to approve any unfunded mandates.