Education in Tennessee: State looks to provide tools to schools while district reopening plans vary


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – All eyes are on school districts across Tennessee as leaders announce reopening plans with in-person and virtual learning options while adhering to state COVID-19 safety guidelines.

WATE 6 On Your Side spoke Wednesday with Tennessee’s Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn, and she says that while reopening plans vary based on every district, the state is focused on providing tools, like a substitute job board.

About a third of the state’s teachers are retirement eligible and Schwinn says that at a state level they are working to ensure if a teacher or staff member cannot, or should not, be in school buildings there is an opportunity to have a substitute.

Another way Schwinn says she hopes to help local districts is through funding. She says that Gov. Bill Lee put $50 million aside for technology and $70 million aside for personal protective equipment.

She adds that East Tennessee districts are unique to the state in that she sees more collaborative planning between districts in the area when it comes to those reopening plans.


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