School board sees bills as attack on local control

The Kingsport city school board has gone on record opposing a proposed Tennessee law that could quash the ability of school systems to pay dues for professional organizations of school board members, superintendents, principals and others if the organization lobbies the General Assembly, reports the Times-News.

Board of Education member Susan Lodal called the resolution a local control issue and said she feared the legislation and another bill allowing local funding body line-item vetoes of school budgets in some situations might make it into law.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Lodal told the board before it voted 5-0 to approve the resolution.

“Our voices are not going to be heard,” Lodal said. “Right now, public education is under attack.”

The resolution specifically opposes House Bill 2293/Senate Bill 2525 Bell; HB 2250/SB 1935 “and any other legislation that seeks to limit the ability of school board members to do the job for which they were elected.”

HB 2293/SB 2525 “would enable funding bodies to line item veto lobbying expenses or dues to associations that lobby from a school system’s budget,” while HB 2250/SB 1935 “grants local legislative bodies the power to line item veto administrative spending in a school district’s budget when the spending exceeds 10 percent of the budget.”

HG 2250 is assigned to the House Local Government Subcommittee but not moving, while House Bill 2293 is on the House Finance Ways and Means calendar next week but is not seeing any action yet in the Senate.