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Kids in Preschool

Statewide Public Education Campaign

Public education in Tennessee is under attack from politicians and SOCM is fighting back! 

In recent years, we’ve seen an alarming number of bills coming out of Nashville that are designed to set public school teachers and students up for failure. For-profit charter schools are taking desperately-needed funds away from public schools. Tennessee is already trailing most of the country in per-student funding coming in at 46th out of 50 states. Books are being banned. Legislators are increasingly relying on standardized tests as the sole indicator of a student’s performance. 

SOCM members all over Tennessee are working locally and at the state level to educate and organize community members to stand up for students, teachers and our local schools. 

We know that the push to defund public education in Tennessee takes many forms and there are many issues that need attention. We also know that it's critical that we build campaigns that are concrete, deeply felt, that reach people where they're at, and bring new people into the long-term work.

Our long term goal is to build a grassroots base of thousands of parents, teachers, school board members and community advocates who are fighting for the future of public education in their local school districts while also being connected to a shared statewide strategy. We are working towards this goal by developing county based organizing “clusters” led by local parents and educators. Through ongoing outreach and community listening members are:

meaningfully engaging parents, students and educators within target school districts to learn what they want for their local schools 

developing a set of shared concerns and hopes within local school districts to build local campaigns around emerging themes locally and statewide, and 

galvanizing a diverse base of parents around a positive agenda for public education leading into the 2024 Legislative Session

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Third-Grade Retention

New state law TCA 49-6-3115 requires all third graders who do not pass a single standardized reading test to be held back and repeat third grade. Parents, teachers, and school administrators are overwhelmingly against this punishing law, but legislators and testing companies continue to push this on our already overburdened local school systems. 

Charter Schools

We are continuing to fight for much-needed public funds for our public schools, which rank 47th in the country in per-student spending. There have been many efforts lately for public funding to go to private, for-profit schools.

Conversations Toward Action

Find out how you can move the needle to defend public education in Tennessee.

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