Tennessee school superintendents' petition mailed to governor

Tennessee school superintendents' petition mailed to governor

September 18th, 2013 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman

Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE - A petition that raises serious concerns about Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman has been sent to the governor.

The petition signed by 55 of the states' school superintendents originated with Dan Lawson, director of the Tullahoma City Schools.

It alleges that Huffman's office "has no interest in a dialogue" with local officials and the superintendents' efforts to improve their schools are being thwarted by low teacher morale because of policy changes on the state level.

Gov. Bill Haslam told reporters on Wednesday that he plans to have more discussions with the superintendents.

Lawson said in an email that he welcomes conversations with the governor.

"I look forward to the establishment of effective dialogues to accomplish achieving the goals of school improvement in Tennessee," Lawson said.

Teachers' groups have criticized Huffman for calling for changes to the minimum teacher salary schedule for new teachers, reducing steps in salary increases from 21 to four and eliminating incentives for doctorate degrees and post-master's training. They also oppose his proposal for tying teacher licenses to student test data.