Education

Capitol Connections

November 08, 2005 1 min read

Registered lobbyists represent about one in 12 of Tennesseans on state boards and commissions—and some of those lobbyists’ clients stand to benefit from the positions, a recent report concludes.

Education lobbyists are cited in the report, called “Influence From the Inside.” It was released Oct. 24 by the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, a conservative-leaning think tank in Nashville.

Fifty-seven of the 874 people who were registered as lobbyists in the state for some or all of 2002 to 2005 were serving on state commissions in 2004, the report says. Lobbyists stand a much better chance of serving on the state panels than other citizens do, according to data in the report.

“Even more alarming is the number of lobbyists with clients likely to benefit from the decisions, recommendations, and policies made by the boards on which those lobbyists serve,” it says.

Authors of the report point to current Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat, as the public official responsible for most of the lobbyists’ appointments, with 18. Former Gov. Don Sundquist, a Republican, was second on the list, with 13 lobbyist appointments.

One lobbyist for a charter schools’ group, Betty Anderson, for instance, serves on the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, which advocates policies to improve the lives of children.

Also among those listed in the report is Judy Beasley, the president of the Tennessee Education Association since 2002, a registered lobbyist who serves on a state advisory council on teacher education and certification. Ms. Beasley, whose group is a National Education Association affiliate, said last week that she simply serves on a panel of volunteers that examines teacher licensure and academic standards. “We never address any kind of funding issue,” she said.

The union president began serving on the teacher-advisory council while on the state board from 1991 to 1997, and later was appointed to the advisory council as a voting member when her term on the state school board ended, she said.

“In my role, I am just advocating for quality public schools,” said Ms. Beasley, a former speech therapist and media specialist in the 6,300-student Murfreesboro, Tenn., city schools, 30 miles southeast of Nashville.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the November 09, 2005 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Elementary Teacher
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 13, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read