Nashville

Nashville school board votes to join Shelby County in school funding lawsuit

The Metro Nashville Public Schools board voted Tuesday night to join Shelby County’s schools in a lawsuit seeking more state education funds, reports The Tennessean.

The motion to join Shelby County Schools in the district’s ongoing litigation for increased education funds passed with a 7-0 vote by the Nashville school board. Two board members were absent — Sharon Gentry and Mary Pierce.

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Rep. Sherry Jones seeks election as Davidson County Court Clerk

State Rep. Sherry Jones, a Nashville Democrat who has served for more than two decades, has announce she’s running for election as Davidson County Juvenile Court Clerk next year, reports The Tennessean.

Jones, first elected to Tennessee House District 59 in 1994, recently filed paperwork with the Davidson County Election Commission allowing her to start raising money for the open countywide seat to replace Juvenile Court Clerk David Smith, who is retiring.

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School boards in Nashville and Memphis defy state order

Elected school leaders in Memphis and Nashville are digging in their heels against a state order to release public information about their students to state-run charter schools, reports Chalkbeat Tennessee.

Shelby County’s school board agreed Tuesday night to defy the order, a day after the chairwoman of Nashville’s school board sent a letter to Education Commissioner Candice McQueen indicating that her district would do the same.

Meanwhile, McQueen said she would request the state attorney general’s opinion on the matter.

At issue is student directory information, including names, phone numbers, addresses and emails. Charter operators say they have a right to the lists under the state’s new charter school law, but local districts don’t want to share the information so they can retain their students.

…Both boards cite a committee discussion in February when state lawmakers were asking questions about the charter school bill as it made its way through the legislature. Rep. John Forgety of Athens said the information could not be used as a “recruiting tool,” and Chuck Cagle, an attorney for the state’s superintendents group, agreed. No one disputed their statements.

However, the final bill that passed excluded language that prohibits using the information to market to students, even as the law prohibits charter schools from sharing the information with anyone else.

TNGOP pitches Nashville as site for 2020 convention with Sun Drop soda, Goo Goo candy

The Republican National Committee meeting, held this week in Nashville, provided Tennessee Republicans with the opportunity to make an early sales pitch on the idea of holding the 2020 Republican National Convention in Nashville, reports The Tennessean.

Among the freebies offered to visiting GOP leaders from other states: Gift bags filled with Sun Drop, Goo Goo Clusters, Moon Pies and Lamar Alexander’s Little Plaid Book. A cruise on the General Jackson on the Cumberland River and a reception at the County Music Hall of Fame.

… “I always promote Nashville to be on the list,” said Beth Campbell, the national committeewoman for Tennessee. “Everyone here this week has thoroughly enjoyed being here. They’re very impressed with Nashville so I think we made a good first impression.”

To welcome attendees of the summer meeting, the state Republican Party prepared the gift bag, which also included a visitors guide and map, a beer koozie from Peg Leg Porker and a custom “Marsha Marsha Marsha” phone wallet.

Democrat Bob Freeman eyes run for Harwell’s House seat

Bob Freeman, a real estate professional and son of prominent Tennessee Democratic donor Bill Freeman, is considering running in 2018 for the House seat that’s being vacated by Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell, a candidate for governor, reports The Tennessean.

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Autopsy finds several drugs involved in death of Nashville mayor’s son

A Colorado autopsy report released Wednesday says Max Barry, son of Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, died from a combination of several drugs, including opioids, reports The Tennessean.

Drugs found in Max Barry following his death were Xanax, marijuana and two opioids — liquid methodone and hydromorphone. The autopsy also showed that he had recently used cocaine.

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Nashville Mayor Barry’s son dies of apparent drug overdose

News release from Nashville Mayor Megan Barry’s office

Max Barry, son of Mayor Megan Barry and Bruce Barry, died from an apparent overdose in Denver, Colorado on the evening of Saturday, July 29. Mayor Megan Barry and Bruce Barry have released a statement on this tragic news:

“Early this morning, we received news that no parents should ever have to hear. Our son Max suffered from an overdose and passed away. We cannot begin to describe the pain and heartbreak that comes with losing our only child. Our son was a kind soul full of life and love for his family and friends.

Our family would greatly appreciate your thoughts and prayers, and would respectfully ask for privacy as we mourn the loss of our child and begin to understand a world without his laughter and love in our lives.”

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Nashville surgeon running for Harwell’s House District 56 seat

Dr. Brent Moody, a Nashville surgeon and a Republican, tells The Tennessean he will run to succeed Beth Harwell in the state House seat being vacated by House speaker, who will run for governor instead of seeking reelection there.

“I think the people of the 56th District have been represented well by Speaker Harwell for a long time, so there will be a new choice for the people of the 56th District,” Moody said. “My plan is to get out there in due course and let them meet me.”

The 47-year-old skin cancer surgeon filed paperwork and appointed a treasurer for his campaign Monday.

Although Moody waited for Harwell to publicly announce her gubernatorial run over the weekend before filing his papers, he previously talked to the speaker about his intentions. She was helpful and gave him some advice, Moody said.

Word spread unofficially in the Spring that Moody could be considering the position after he posted a photo on Twitter on April 3rd of him meeting with House Majority Leader Glen Casada and Harwell.

Nashville state Senate candidate sending campaign emails to school employees

Would-be state senator Howard Jones has been blasting mass emails asking for donations to his fellow Metro Nashville Public Schools employees in violation of school policy, reports the Nashville Scene.

Jones is running for the District 19 seat currently held by state Sen. Thelma Harper; state Rep. Brenda Gilmore is also running.

Jones, a Baptist minister and assistant principal at John F. Kennedy Middle School, has been sending emails from his campaign account to staff at many, if not all, schools in the district — although apparently none to anyone in the administration and central offices.

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‘Political realities’ leave Nashville immigration ordinances dead

Citing “political realities,” Metro Nashville Councilman Bob Mendes has abandoned an attempt to seek approval of city ordinances that critics said would make Nashville a “sanctuary city” for illegal immigrants, reports The Tennessean.

He claimed the proposals had the support of a majority of Nashvillians but pointed to a backlash in more conservative parts of Tennessee.

“Despite the popular support in Davidson County, there’s been a great deal of opposition from outside the county, and these bills have become a political football for people running for governor in the Republican primary and other races statewide,” Mendes said at a Wednesday afternoon news conference.

“It’s almost become a race to the bottom to see who can criticize Nashville more, who can criticize immigrants more.

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ABOUT THIS BLOG

Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.

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