NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Senate sponsor of a contentious proposal to delay further implementation of Tennessee’s Common Core education standards for two years said Tuesday that a compromise is close on the legislation.
Earlier this month, a broad coalition of Republican and Democratic House members passed a bill seeking to delay implementation of the new standards, as well as the testing component for the standards for the same amount of time.
The Senate would have to agree to those provisions before the measure would head to the desk of Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, who has said he’s against delaying the standards.
Sen. Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he’s been talking with the governor and they’re close to an agreement.
“We’re working toward a nice compromise,” said Niceley, who didn’t elaborate on the discussions.
…Haslam in a speech to the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday urged business leaders to take direct action in supporting the standards. He said lawmakers will listen to employers in their districts.
“There’s nothing that takes the place of personal engagement,” Haslam told reporters after his speech.
The governor also acknowledged that he met Tuesday with a group of senators and is “continuing conversations” with them. He didn’t mention a compromise, but reiterated his stance on not delaying the standards.
“I do think this is really important for Tennessee,” said Haslam, citing the recognition the state is getting nationally for its improvement in education.
“Why would we as a state that’s the fastest improving … in the country turn around and back up now.”
Note: Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey has also said that some unspecified Common Core compromise is in the making.