NAACP Town Hall in Knoxville on Federal Education Funding in Tennessee

Yesterday (November 2, 2023) the Knoxville branch of the NAACP (National Association for Advancement of Colored People) held a Town Hall at the Beck Cultural Center in East Knoxville.

The purpose was to discuss the upcoming state legislature committee on Tennessee not accepting Federal money for K-12 education.

TN State Rep. Sam McKenzie and KCEA (Knox County Education Association, a teacher labor union) President Paula Hancock were the presenters.

Also, in attendance among the less than 30 people in the room were TN State Representative Gloria Johnson and Daniel Watson, Third District Knox County School Board Member.

McKenzie shared information from EdTrust, which he said is from the Sycamore Institute. Who McKenzie said is the same entity that the legislature will be discussing at next weeks committee meeting. McKenzie said there would be meetings Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

All the presenters kept naming Speaker Cameron Sexton for this initiative. The facts are that this committee has been jointly created by Lt. Governor Randy McNally and Speaker Sexton.

Sam Brown President of The Knoxville branch of the NAACP said that there would be more meetings on this issue as part of an awareness campaign about the study and the committees work. They oppose it as it could dramatically effect low income and minority community schools.

Brown also mentioned two tasks that the group may undertake. 1) a campaign to raise the necessary taxes in Knox County to fund Knox County Schools 2) for the City of Knoxville to get back in the public school business. Community Activist Constance Every said that the city gettinv back into the school business is not realistic in that Knox County Schools has already approved another Charter School, Knoxville Prep Academy.

Brown promised more meetings. As I know and aware of the meetings and can attend, I will inform you.

Interestingly, of the less than 30 in attendance, I was the only ”media” in attendance. I did not see anyone from the daily paper and the guys from Compass Knoxville were not in attendance.

the notice

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1 Response

  1. Tina Sparks says:

    YES…more than interesting that “other media”were not present (unless of course Robert Booker counts as “media”)…maybe the sparse attendance was because the meeting took place at 4:00 in the afternoon…maybe because of the perceived demographic (poor, black, and brown children) only being effected…and why only one member of the school board present?!