Sandra is giving over her space this week to Lauren Hopson, president of the Knox County Education Association
Seven of our nine Knox County school board members (come Sept. 1) have education backgrounds – a feat rarely, if ever, seen in an urban school district. Yet many in the local media still have no clue what just happened or why.
Comments are frequently made that the elections were all about getting rid of Superintendent Jim McIntyre, and now that he has left office, there is nothing left for teachers to organize around.
Wrong. Dead Wrong.
It’s budget time again, and it’s been three years since James McIntyre introduced his bold plan to improve Knox County Schools, which he proposed to finance with 35 million new dollars that would require a 35-cent property tax increase.
His announcement was accompanied by considerable fanfare and happy talk from the usual sources (the Chamber of Commerce, numerous progressive-minded community leaders, most media outlets), which was amplified by a bunch of TV commercials in heavy rotation.
It’s election time for some 2,000 members of the Knox County Education Association.
In the past, this announcement would have generated a big fat yawn from anybody but KCEA members, but that could change this year. Lauren Hopson, the unofficial leader of the teachers’ rebellion, is challenging incumbent KCEA president Tanya T. Coats, who is seeking a second two-year term.
It took Lauren Hopson almost no time to respond to Doug Harris’ remarks on WBIR TV’s “Inside Tennessee” Sunday.
Harris and board chair Mike McMillan were on the morning show with John Becker. By 1 p.m., Hopson had posted an eight-point summary of his remarks on the SPEAK (Students, Parents, Educators Across Knox County) Facebook page. Within a half hour, her post had drawn 25 responses. By 4 p.m., there were 54 – none of them happy with Harris.