The convening of the state legislature this week has attracted the usual lobbyists and advocacy groups. There are some new faces at the capitol, including a controversial figure in public education.
Former Washington D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee is meeting face-to-face with lawmakers. During most of the legislative session, she says carrying the load will be local members of her organization “StudentsFirst,” which claims 40,000 members in Tennessee.
“You have to have the constituents who are actually voting for these politicians come to them and say, ‘education is a priority for me. I am going to watch how you vote on this bill.’”
Rhee’s group is pushing for school vouchers on a limited basis, charter school authorization at the state level and a parent trigger law, that would allow parents to fire a principal or force a school to shutdown.
Other issues that already have lobbyists at full speed include proposals to put wine in grocery stores and reform workers comp.