Haslam appears ready to put the screws to the TEA education monopoly

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam announced some major changes that he wants to make to education policy yesterday, including tying teacher tenure to better performance and opening many more charter schools.

Perhaps most important of all the proposals that Haslam put forward, however, was to eliminate the State’s current 90-school cap on the number of charter schools and allow districts to open charter school enrollment to any of its children. This idea is really the beginning of the expansion of school choice for parents who want to take their kids out of bad schools and put them in a better environment, with at-risk students getting the first shot in many cases. Haslam’s plan, along with the elimination of the union’s collective bargaining power, could take a wrecking ball to the Tennessee Education Association.

Those who were afraid that Governor Haslam might not be willing to take a public stand on something really important (and you know you are out there, folks), may be in for a bit of a surprise. Haslam seems to have a way of sticking it to a Democratic interest group like the teachers’ union in a way that leaves them with very little to do about it. Education reform could be the most important project Haslam takes on as Governor.

Haslam Press Conference

Larry McCormack/The Tennessean

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