State Journal

Capitol Connections

Tennessee report claims lobbyists have leg up on state panels

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints

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.

Vol. 25, Issue 11, Page 23

Published in Print: November 9, 2005, as Capitol Connections

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories

Viewed

Emailed

Recommended

Commented

Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >