Tag Archives: casey

TN Ranked 39th in Child Well-Being Study

News release from Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth:
Tennessee is 39th in the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2013 National KIDS COUNT Data Book ranking of child well-being released today.
Rankings on 16 indicators are clustered in four domains — Economic Well-Being, Education, Health, and Family and Community. Tennessee improved slightly on two domains, held steady on one, and dropped on another.
“Child well-being is a barometer of the current and future well-being of the state,” said Linda O’Neal, executive director of the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, state affiliate of the KIDS COUNT program, “and while we are disappointed Tennessee’s 2013 composite ranking dropped from 36th in 2012 after three years of ‘best ever’ state rankings, we are pleased to see progress in several indicators.
“Emphasis on keeping children in school in Tennessee resulted in the state scoring better than the national average in the percent of high school students graduating on time and of children in families where the household head has a high school diploma.”

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Judge Acquits Protesters Who Disrupted Legislative Hearing in March

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Seven protesters who disrupted a state Senate committee hearing in March have been acquitted of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct charges.
“We argued they were exercising their First Amendment rights, and we think the First Amendment is really important,” said defense attorney Jay Steed, who represented the group in Davidson County General Sessions Court with partner Jonathan Farmer.
Judge Casey Moreland found the group not guilty on Friday.
The seven men and women who were arrested on March 15 were mostly students from the University of Memphis who were at the Capitol to denounce a bill to strip teachers of their collective bargaining rights. They were among a group that stood up during a Senate hearing to chant about “union busting” by the Legislature.
Most demonstrators left the hearing room after a half-hour, but a small group tried to lock arms to keep from being removed. Troopers pulled the holdouts out of the room one by one, while lawmakers, lobbyists and other observers looked on.
A bill replacing teachers’ collective bargaining rights with a concept called collaborative conferencing was later passed and signed into law.
The measure would replace union contracts with binding memorandums of understanding on issues such as salaries, grievances, benefits and working conditions. But it would shield other areas such as differentiated pay or evaluations from discussions.
Supporters of the bill said it was a good compromise, but detractors noted that the legislation would allow school districts to dictate terms to teachers if no agreement is struck.
Note: See also Andy Sher, who lists the protester names, including one from Chattanooga.

Democratic Legislators Filing ‘Caylee’s Law’ Bill in Tennessee

Two Democratic state legislators said today they will introduce legislation that would implement “Caylee’s Law” in Tennessee. The bill, named after a 2-year-old Florida girl whose death led to the murder trial of her mother in Florida, would make it a crime for parents not to report missing children.
Republican state Rep. Ryan Haynes of Knoxville, meanwhile, has told a TV station that he plans to introduce a “Caylee’s Law” as well. Haynes is traveling out of the country today and was not available for comment on the Democratic proposal, according to his legislative secretary.
Caylee’s mother, Casey Anthony, was found not guilty last week in a highly-publicized trial in Florida, though she had acknowledged not reporting the child’s death to authorities.
The jury verdict in the Casey Anthony trial has sparked a national movement to enact a “Caylee’s Law” in multiple states.
(In Tennessee, the proposals come after after Gov. Bill Haslam called for legislators to reduce the number of bills filed, noting there are sometimes multiple bills introduced on the same subject. House Speaker Beth Harwell and Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey have voiced support for a reduction in bill filings, also noting there are often several bills on the same topic.)
More than 11 million people nationwide have signed an online petition supporting Caylee’s law.
The Democratic legislators’ press release is below.

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