21′ SB0630/HB0755 – Lundberg/White

Bill Description

An LEA shall not use or permit to be used in any school any textbooks and instructional materials upon any subject to the exclusion of the textbooks and instructional materials listed by the commission and approved by the state board of education; provided, that this prohibition does not apply to textbooks and instructional materials previously listed and purchased with public funds.

Upon application of the local board of education, the state board of education may waive this restriction when, in the state board's judgment, the unique or unusual needs of the LEA require it. In making waiver determinations, the state board of education must receive assistance from the department of education. The state board shall outline in its rules specific timeframes when waiver applications may be submitted by a local board of education; provided, that the state board shall allow applications to be submitted outside of the established timeframes in emergency circumstances, as defined by the state board in its rules.
(b) If the commissioner of education finds that an LEA knowingly violated this section, then the commissioner may withhold state funds, in an amount determined by the commissioner, from the LEA until the LEA is in compliance.
(c) Notwithstanding subsection (a), all English language arts textbooks and instructional materials must be aligned to Tennessee's academic standards no later than January 1, 2023.
(d) The state board of education is authorized to promulgate rules, including emergency rules, to effectuate this section. The rules must be promulgated in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

TLRC Position

We approve the spirit of this legislation but feel that the Textbook and Instructional Materials Quality Commission should have a prominent role in these evaluations and decisions, rather than the State Board of Education with the assistance of the State Dept. of Education. The former being more a consultation body of independent citizens and the latter having a dismal track record of decisions designed to enhance achievement.

TLRC Observed Process

The bill passed on a partisan basis without much drama.

Vote Result: Passed

Score: +5

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