The House Education Committee is divided 11-11 between R’s and D’s, with the K-12 subcommittee similarly split, 6-6. Education will tentatively be chaired by Harry Brooks (R-Knox Co.), with K-12 chaired by Les Winningham (D-Scott Co.), the previous Ed Committee Chair.
I’m in the process of evaluating the committee makeup now — legislative experience, education background, support or opposition to issues of interest (BEP 2.0, elected vs. appointed superintendents, etc.), and will post that later today. At first blush though, it caught my attention that six of the Ed Committee members are from Shelby County. That seems a little weighted for one county out of 95, knowing that Shelby Co. and Memphis school systems are quite different than most of the rest of the state.
Early observations of this unofficial roster:
- 7 of the 12 K-12 Subcommittee members are from the large, urban, consolidated school districts (Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Knoxville);
- Average legislative experience of Democrats: 14 years
- Average legislative experience of Republicans: 6 years
I have to admit, it kind of floored me that Bill Dunn was appointed to K-12, since his own five children are home-schooled. Certainly, there’s more research to be done on this group… prior voting records, issue positions, etc.
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The official committee assignments are out now, and the Ed Committee appears to be the same as reported earlier.