Gov. Bill Lee is calling a special session of the legislature to address urgent education issues related to the pandemic.
In an announcement released Tuesday, Lee says that the state expects proficiency in math and English test scores to drop by more than half. In a special session, he says the legislature will equip teachers and school districts with “resources and supports” needed to combat learning loss.
“It’s not just a concerning data point,” Governor Bill Lee said Wednesday on a call with reporters. “These are consequences, severe lifelong consequences for our kids, if we don’t take swift corrective measure.”
State officials say federal funding can be used to leverage old problems worsened by the pandemic.
It’s unclear what that will mean in practical terms, though the governor’s office says the bills will address funding, teacher and district accountability for test scores, literacy and teacher pay.
Details are expected to come from the Tennessee Department of Education in the coming days. The special session starts Jan. 19, one week after lawmakers return to the state Capitol.