Tag Archives: New York

Haslam Not Joining Call to Abolish U.S. Dept. of Education

Governor Bill Haslam doesn’t use the same rhetoric to describe the federal Department of Education as Republicans running for President, according to WPLN’s report on his Monday appearance on a MSNBC education discussion.
Ten governors sat on a stage in New York City. The three Republicans were asked if they identify with the GOP presidential contenders, whose proposals range from hollowing out the Department of Education to abolishing it altogether.
Governor Haslam, who has made multiple appearances with Education Secretary Arne Duncan, says he does want less control from Washington.
“I’ll say this to make it real easy. I think we want a federal Department of Education that all of us see as a resource and not a regulator.”
The department has been both in recent years. Tennessee benefited from half a billion dollars in grant money from Secretary Duncan’s Race to the Top program. And the state expects to receive a waiver under No Child Left Behind standards.
For Secretary Duncan’s part, when asked what he thinks of GOP Presidential hopefuls debating whether to abolish his department, Duncan said he does not watch Republican debates.
Governor Haslam was also asked about No Child Left Behind waivers and his recent cooperation with the White House.
Changing No Child Left Behind is one initiative where Haslam says he and the Obama Administration see eye to eye.
“We had set an unattainable target for schools, which was de-motivating to teachers. I believe we should link student performance to teacher evaluations, but if the evaluation standard is unrealistic, then we’re not achieving our goal.”

Haslam Says Credit Rating Agencies Seemed Postive About TN Presentation

NASHVILLE – Gov. Bill Haslam, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and other state officials have assured New York-based credit agencies that Tennessee is better prepared that most states to deal with federal spending cutbacks and deserves to retain its AAA bond rating.
Representatives of Moody’s, Standard & Poor and Fitch’s credit rating agencies all seemed to have a positive response to the Tennessee pitch, though they their formal response is probably about a month away, Haslam said Wednesday in a telephone news conference.
Finance Commissioner Mark Emkes has all state government departments draft plans last month on how they would deal with up to a 30 percent reduction in federal funds they now receive. That, the state’s long-standing reputation for fiscal prudence and other factors seemed to impress the rating officials, Haslam said.
Moody’s recently put the Tennessee and four other states on a “negative outlook” for possible future downgrade in credit rating, citing what it characterized as a heavy overall dependence on federal spending in the states’ economy.
But Haslam said that, if TVA’s impact is excluded, Tennessee’s economy has about 16 percent of its economic base in federal spending – slightly less than the average of other states. With TVA included, the level rises to about 17 percent, roughly equal to the average, the governor said.
TVA should be excluded, he said, because its budget is not tied to federal spending in Washington and thus not impacted by federal cuts in other areas.
Note: Link to Ramsey’s full statement is HERE.

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