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John Forgety

NASHVILLE - Action on a bill setting up a second review process on Tennessee's Common Core education standards was delayed today by its sponsor as some lawmakers explore whether it can be merged with Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's own on-going process.

Rep. John Forgety, R-Athens, chairman of the House Education Instruction and Programs Committee, agreed to postpone a planned subcommittee vote on his bill at the request of Rep. Billy Spivey, R-Lewisburg.

Spivey told the panel he had had an "epiphany" this morning that "may well eliminate the need for a bill of this nature."

"Well, it's just something you got to get right," Spivey said. "I'd rather it take longer to cook and it be done when we digest it than just rush through the process."

He later told reporters he had asked Forgety for a chance to speak with the administration and House leaders.

"I'd rather reveal it to them first, if you don't mind," Spivey said.

Haslam's administration is already reviewing the controversial standards, which have become a lightening rod for social conservatives and others, in a process that involves allowing the public to weigh in with recommended changes on a website.

Panels comprised of Tennessee teachers and experts then would examine those with an eye toward making recommendations for a more Tennessee-flavored set of standards while maintaining high standards.

Much of Forgety's bill is largely set up along the same lines, although Forgety, a former McMinn County schools superintendent, would include parents with children in public schools, in the mix.

Forgety's bill has 29 co-sponsors, including Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell.

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