The public school system is at the root of our democracy, said David Testerman, Democratic candidate the Tennessee State Senate, District 10. “A good education, available to all, means an educated work force that can take advantage of the jobs going begging right now,” he said. “Tennessee is failing far too many of our students. And lack of support for public education is driving away good educators.”
Testerman, who currently represents District 8 on the Hamilton County School Board, spent 30 years of public service in education, and said, “Public schools are not a failure, they are not a business and they are not an ‘entitlement’ as the word has come to be used by Republicans. There is no doubt that school systems must be run efficiently and there must be accountability. But our schools’ first mandate must continue to be to provide the best quality education they can for all Tennessee and 10th District students.”
Other education issues are key to Mr. Testerman’s campaign:
• Public/private partnerships, such as the STEM school now being built, have immense potential for the future, the candidate believes. “The business community stepped forward to support this project, and they will do so again if the opportunities are there,” he said. "We need to include trade unions in re-establishing apprenticeship programs. This supports our local economy and keeps money circulating here." Mr. Testerman also supports the re-establishment of a technical trade high school, such as the former Kirkman High School in downtown Chattanooga.
• A firm supporter of public school teachers, Mr. Testerman believes they have been unfairly targeted by the current state legislature. “The vast majority of our teachers are caring professionals, many of whom spend their own money on classroom essentials. These unwarranted and constant attacks are driving fine teachers out of our schools.”
• Student-loan debt, now at an all-time high, is crippling young people before they even get a start in the work force. “We must do more to ensure that students who are willing to work hard to finish college have access to scholarships and to loans at manageable interest rates,” he said. “Mounting debt for education threatens to cripple our economy for many years to come.”