Tennessee Textbook Commission Tasked With Creating Appeals Process Begs For Legal Guidance

Dec 9, 2022 | Political News

At a virtual meeting of the Tennessee Textbook and Instructional Materials Quality Commission this week, committee members voiced concerns over the guidance they are fine tuning for school districts regarding the appeals process for materials.

A motion was made, and voted on 7-1, to get an opinion from the Attorney General on the draft guidance that the committee has put together, and if the Attorney General declines to look at it, to then ask attorneys on the Education committee of the Tennessee legislature to advise.

Former Senator Mike Bell, who serves as the East Tennessee Public Member of the commission, and who voted no, said that this was “a highly unusual request” as those attorneys only work for the Tennessee legislature. 

A second motion was then made and voted on to seek “timely assistance” from the Education committee and then to request legal help from the Tennessee Department of Education if the Education committee failed to advise. This motion passed 6-2 despite the point being made that there is supposed to be somewhat of a “firewall” between the Textbook Commission and the Department of Education.