Gov. Bill Haslam is continuing to push an initiative to increase the number of Tennesseans with at least a two-year college degree or certificate.
The governor is scheduled to talk more about the "Drive to 55" plan at an event in Nashville on Wednesday.
He announced the initiative in his State of the State address earlier this year and has been working on it over the past months. He is expected to more clearly define the state's challenges on Wednesday, as well as give an update on its progress.
Currently, 32 percent of Tennesseans have a two-year degree or higher, and Haslam's goal is to raise that number to 55 percent by 2025.
Some early results released from a Vanderbilt University study on the impact of pre-K education show a mixed bag. The findings so far indicate that Tennessee children who make big gains in math, reading, and language by attending pre-kindergarten don’t stay ahead of their peers for long.
But the research also shows those same children can learn other behaviors that benefit them down the road.
The Tennessean reports that Vanderbilt University researchers are counseling patience regarding the unprecedented study, which follows 3,000 Tennessee children from age 4 through third grade, through the year 2015.
One early takeaway from the study: students who attend preschool are promoted from kindergarten to first grade at twice the rate of those who don’t, and have higher first grade attendance. Researchers are wondering whether those kinds of achievements are actually better predictors of long-term academic success, as opposed to focusing solely on a child’s early academic abilities.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has signed into law a reduction in the state's sales tax on groceries.
Starting July 1, Tennessee shoppers will pay a 5% sales tax on retail food items. That's a reduction from the current 5.25% tax and down from 5.5% in the previous budget year. The regular sales tax is 7%, while local governments can add an additional tax of up to 2.75%.
he reduction in the sales tax on groceries was part of Haslam's legislative agenda and was approved in tandem with cuts to the state's taxes on inheritance, gifts and income from interest and dividends.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam says Republican losses at the polls last fall were mostly due to poor messaging and problems with mobilization on the ground. He also believes comprehensive immigration reform would be a big boost to the nation's economy.
Speaking at the winter meeting of the Republican Governor's Association in Washington, D.C., Haslam told Politico Republicans lost the argument with President Obama over whether wealthier Americans should pay more in taxes, and the impact that would have on the overall U.S. economy.
The Tennessee Republican says his party needs to do a better job of convincing the American public of the problems created by the country's debt.
“The one message we haven’t gotten by is, we’re not doing any favors by continuing to pass the debt on down, and we have not done a good job for whatever reason of explaining it,” Haslam told Politico.
WKU Public Radio listeners certainly have heard of Tennesee Gov. Bill Haslam. The 54-year-old Republican from Knoxville has signed into law numerous conservative measures, including tort reform, charter school expansion, and an overhaul of the state's civil service.
But in an online profile, Politico describes Haslam as someone who has largely flown under the national radar, despite putting together "one of the most extensive conservative governing records in the country."
The article says other GOP governors could learn a lot from Haslam this week as the National Governors Association meets in Washington.