6 Policy Updates You Ought To Know

#TNLegs have been on bullsh*t since the legislative session started. But you already know TEA will keep you updated on everything at The Capitol. Below are all of the legislative policies currently on our watch list. Act now and sign the petition and contact your representative!


Renaming Rep. John Lewis Way

As written, this bill proposes to rename Rep. John Lewis Way which begins at the intersection of U.S. Hwy 41/State Route 6 (James Robertson Pkwy) and ends with Dr. Martin L. King Jr. Blvd to President Donald Trump Boulevard. This bill also seeks to rename the street of the state capitol building, the Cordell Hull legislative building, to President Donald Trump Boulevard. It removes streets from the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act which governs historical monuments on public property and makes it difficult for communities to make changes.  

3rd-grade retention law amendments

In 2021 during a Special Session, the legislature updated an existing law to require third graders to test proficient in ELA TCAP before moving to fourth grade. Students who do not pass the third-grade section of the ELA TCAP (a student who receives an approaching or below score) will be provided support to ensure they are ready for grade-level ELA lessons in fourth grade. If families elect not to participate in the support provided, the law requires the student to be retained in third grade to ensure they receive an additional year of instruction. According to 2021-2022 data, 65% of Tennessee’s 3rd graders could be at risk of being retained.

Currently, there are 19 Amendments submitted during this legislative session to the 2021 passed law.

3rd-grade retention law amendments

House Speaker Sexton (R) will soon be carrying legislation to stop the state from accepting the nearly $1.8 billion of federal K-12 education dollars that help provide support to low-income students, English learners, and students with disabilities. To date, no state has successfully rejected federal education funds.

This targets our students most in need and will limit access to tutoring and academic support, afterschool and summer programs, school counselors, mental health professionals, and other assistance. Our students need more, not less, to support their academic recovery.


Music City Center Bill

Defunds the “convention center fund” and restricts the ability to increase and redirect excess funding. This bill if passed would terminate future increases to the Metropolitan Government Tourist Accommodation Tax and previously authorized privilege taxes that increased from the base tax. In 2020, the Convention Center Authority voted unanimously to allocate $40 million dollars as a result of COVID-19 to help bear the burden on Nashville’s budget. It eliminates the funding that pays down the debt from building the Music City Center and the excess funds being directed to the general fund.


Metro Council Reduction Bill

It aims to set a size limit of 20 council members for any metropolitan and municipal government in Tennessee. It does not specify the composition of the members leaving the representation of Black and brown voters in Nashville’s Metro Council severely at stake. As proposed will also increase the term length for council members from three to four years. Other implications of this bill are that it will change the election to August 2024 and eliminate run-off elections.


Community Oversight Board Bill

The killing of George Floyd brought the everyday realities of over-policing, police brutality and the normalization of white supremacy to the TV screens of all Americans. It stirred a nationwide movement to demand police accountability. In response, the Nashville community voted to appoint the first members of the Nashville Community Oversight Board in January 2019. This bill if passed would create an internal police advisory board comprised of seven members, appointed by the mayor for a term of three years. The committee is not permitted to restrict or limit membership based on demographics, economic status, or employment history. This means there is no guaranteed representation for every day, Black or brown Nashvillians.