Where do Tennessee’s candidates for governor stand on key issues?
The Tennessee gubernatorial forum at Lipscomb University featuring Republicans Randy Boyd, Beth Harwell and Bill Lee, and Democrats Karl Dean and Craig Fitzhugh Ayrika L Whitney, The Tennessean
What would be your top priority for education? How would you finance it?
Republican U.S. Rep. Diane Black: “I will invest more in career and technical education (CTE) in high school and the higher education level. A traditional four-year college education is not for everyone, and we can’t let our kids be without a skill or a pathway. It’s time our state’s budget reflects that with meaningful investments in CTE.”
Republican Randy Boyd: “My top priority is completing the Drive to 55 by 2025. One key element in doing so is increasing opportunity for students to graduate with both a high school diploma and a job-ready credential at the same time. We can do this by re-prioritizing existing funding.”
Republican state Rep. Beth Harwell: “After the problems we’ve experienced over the last few school years, solving the issues with our testing program needs to be a high priority. We can’t track our students’ progress and make improvements if we can’t rely on our testing software to work properly.”
Republican Bill Lee: “We need real vocational, technical, and agricultural education in our public schools and we don’t need a massive, costly government project to do it. We have willing partners in the private sector. I know, because I’ve done it in my company, which employs hundreds of skilled tradesmen. We created our own technical school that led to great careers.”
Democrat Karl Dean: “We need to pay our teachers more by making education a priority in the budget every year. I’ve always worked on budgets the same way you would cut a pie. Your priorities get the largest piece and even in tough times you protect your priorities.”
Democrat state Rep. Craig Fitzhugh: “My top priority is to make sure children are reading at grade level by the third grade. Shortly behind that is increasing teacher pay and making sure students are ready for post-secondary education/training. Part of the funding could be obtained through the Education Endowment bill that I passed in the House.”[Read more at The Tennessean].