9:52am

Wed May 16, 2012
Summerford Says Tenor Different in Election Year

TEA's Take on the 107th Tenn. General Assembly

MURFREESBORO, Tenn (WMOT)  --  State legislators recently wrapped up the work of the 107th Tennessee General Assembly and WMOT is asking newsmakers from across the political spectrum to share their impressions of the session.

Today we hear the views of Gera Summerford, president of the state’s largest teacher’s union, the Tennessee Education Association.

Summerford says that, compared to last year when the legislature enacted a number of measures the TEA opposed, this most recent session was far less confrontational.

“The tenor this year I think was quite different than that of 2011. This is an election year for the entire House of Representatives and half of the Senate, so we’re going to keep that in mind. There didn’t seem to be as many aggressive attempts to change public education in ways that impact students and teachers.”

Summerford says the TEA counts as a success the defeat this session of Governor Haslam’s initiative to lift restrictions on class sizes in Tennessee schools. The TEA is also pleased with the small salary increase for teachers included in this year’s state budget.