News release from Senate Republican Caucus:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Senate Education Committee will hold hearings on the Tennessee Textbook Commission next week in collaboration with the Senate Government Operations Committee according to Education Committee Chairman Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) and Government Operations Committee Chairman Mike Bell (R-Riceville). The hearings will take place on Monday, November 4 at 1:00 pm, and Tuesday, November 5 at 9:00 am, in Room 12 of the Legislative Plaza in Nashville.
Gresham said the hearings are being conducted for the purpose of seeking clarity regarding the structure and function of the State Textbook Commission. The Commission is scheduled to be evaluated under the state’s Sunset Review process. Departments and agencies of state government are subject to the periodical sunset review process to determine whether the entities are functioning properly and if they should be retained, modified, or abolished.
“Parents and community leaders across the state have raised concerns regarding the process of textbook selection because of the content and bias found in textbooks in a local school district,” said Senator Gresham. “We will be looking at the structure and function of this commission to help ensure that textbooks used in this state are tools of education, not indoctrination.”
The Textbook Commission recently came under fire by a group of parents for having adopted textbooks containing inappropriate language and a controversial interpretation of historical facts. The Commission is composed of ten members whose responsibility is to recommend an official list of textbooks for approval of the State Board of Education. Local school systems choose which textbooks to adopt from the official state textbook list for a six-year period.