Saturday, December 27, 2008

2008-12-27 Roundup

The goal is to actually educate the child:

“Want to save the state money at a time when school budgets are being slashed? Offer more vouchers... .” But wait! Don’t private schools take only the “best” kids from privileged backgrounds ? Not under Florida’s program they don’t. Chattanooga Times-Free Press
Eye-catching quote via Joanne Jacobs:

We’re not prosperous because we’ve invested in higher education, [George] Leef writes.

"The truth is closer to the reverse of that. Only a very affluent country could afford to have a higher-education system that costs so much and produces so little."

Anderson County/Oak Ridge parents: Did you know your child took this survey last spring?
Members of the Anderson County Board of Education heard the results of the county school system's Youth Risk Behavior Survey last week. The Oak Ridger also obtained a copy of the survey results from Oak Ridge school officials on Friday. (snip)

The Centers for Disease Control developed the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System to monitor health-risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death, disability and social problems among young people and adults in the United States. State officials with Tennessee Coordinated School Health administered the voluntary survey to middle-school students for the first time this spring. via The Oak Ridger
Now it's Anderson County's turn to pick a Superintendent of Schools. Stonecipher has announced he's retiring.

Bedford County gets an academic magnet elementary school next fall.

Nashville gets two more charter schools. Actually, one is an expansion of an existing one. Nashville is still very far behind on allowing this public school option for children. Memphis has 9 for a student population of about 110,000 (one for every 12,000+) and Nashville currently has 3 for about 75,000 students (1 for every 25,000). That ratio will fall to 15,000 next year. Here's the Tennessee Charter Schools Association website. UPDATE from TCSA: There are currently 16 charter schools in Tennessee with 10 more approved for the next school year.

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and I have something in common. We've both been described as ranklers by the Tennessean. He last week and me in 2006. Ranklers get things done. Maybe you don't like WHAT they get done...but they get things done.

Good news for free speech and voters:
On December 18, the 10th circuit struck down Oklahoma’s ban on out-of-state circulators for initiatives. (snip) There are now four circuits that have invalidated bans on out-of-state circulators (the 6th, 7th, 9th and 10th), and only one circuit, the 8th, that has upheld them. via Ballot Access News
I met Paul Jacob several months back. The thought of these folks being so harassed by the OK Attorney General was scary. For daring to gather signatures on a petition the Oklahoma 3 found themselves at risk of 10 years in jail and $25,000 fines. Here are a few links for background info. Free the OK3, Tennessee's Blue Collar Muse and the Wall Street Journal. Astonishingly, despite his outrageous behavior and defeat in the Circuit court OK AG Drew Edmondson still plans on running for OK Governor. Apparently, he's drinking whatever IL Gov. Blogojovich is drinking.

This crisis will have to go to the end of the line.
Quoted in a Tennessean article about the 'need' to improve our roads and its funding system is this comment about persuading taxpayers to part with their finite cash for the road crisis:
"We're not doing a good job of that. We need to be telling it to Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs, chambers of commerce that there is a transportation crisis coming in Tennessee." State Rep. Bill Harmon (D-Dunlap)
Harmon is identified as "chairman of the state's Transportation Funding Options Study Committee". Well, I'm betting that chairmanship and the 'crisis' will both change in January with a Republican controlled House and Senate.

More legislation from Rep. G. A. Hardaway (D-Memphis) :

*HJR0004 by *Hardaway.

General Assembly, Studies - Establishes a special joint legislative study committee to study issues relating to unsolved civil rights crimes. -

*HJR0005 by *Hardaway.

General Assembly, Studies - Creates special committee to study the impact of slavery and segregation on African Americans in Tennessee. -

*HB0044 by *Hardaway.

Lottery, Scholarships and Programs - As introduced, creates the ASPIRE work study program to provide additional postsecondary financial assistance from net lottery proceeds to students receiving both the Tennessee HOPE scholarship and the ASPIRE award. - Amends TCA Title 49, Chapter 4, Part 9.

Other legislation filed this week:

*SB0004 by *McNally.

Public Health - As introduced, requires the commissioner of health to require children under the age of 24 months enrolled or enrolling in a child care facility to receive the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. - Amends TCA Title 49, Chapter 6, Part 50; Title 56, Chapter 7 and Title 71, Chapter 3, Part 5.

*SB0006 by *Tate.

Parks, Natural Areas Preservation - As introduced, prohibits the state, counties, and municipalities from requiring the naming of parks and recreational facilities in dedication only to individuals who are deceased at the time of such naming. - Amends TCA Title 11.

Let's just sell the naming rights to the highest bidder and solve the Bredesen/Goetz/Naifeh budget crisis at the same time. I argued against naming a MNPS building after a living person back in 2006. Until folks are dead we can not be assured that they won't make a wrong turn at some point which will require having to go back and un-name something after an embarrassing incident. If the idea is to honor a life well lived, lets let them finish their life and give their kids a chance to write that tell-all biography first.

*SB0009 by *Black.

Nurses, Nursing - As introduced, certifies medication technicians who can administer certain medications in nursing homes under the supervision of licensed nurses. - Amends TCA Title 63, Chapter 7, Part 1.

And Sen. Henry files his second bill---another resolution to honor someone. Henry's bill and this CMA press release are very similar.

SJR0003 by *Henry.

Memorials, Retirement - Ed Benson -

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