Stewart Hits GOP For "Giving Up $60 Million In Federal Funding"

Thursday, December 19, 2013

State Rep. Mike Stewart (D-Nashville) released the following statement following news that the Republican leadership in the House was going to oppose a federally funded expansion of Pre-K in Tennessee:

"Even in these hyper-political times, yesterday’s announcement by House Republican Leaders that they planned to give up $64.3 million in federal tax dollars freely available to expand Pre-K came as a shock and a disappointment," said Rep. Stewart. 

"Sadly, Tennessee Republicans appear to be taking the lead from their national leaders, like Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who have made a profession of putting their narrow political needs before the good of the nation as a whole.  Here we have a program – Pre-K – that has bi-partisan support and that has proven to be highly effective.  Here in Nashville, Vanderbilt’s Peabody Research Institute, working with the Tennessee Department of Education’s Division of Curriculum, recently conducted a 'rigorous, independent evaluation' of Pre-K in Tennessee.  The key finding?  '[T[he Tennessee Voluntary Prekindergarten program produces significant improvements in the academic skills generally regarded as important for school readiness compared to the gains made by comparable children who did not participate in the program.'

"At one time, Tennessee leaders, whether Republicans under Governors Lamar Alexander and Don Sundquist or Democrats under Democratic Governors Ned Ray McWherter and Phil Bredesen, would not have thought twice about putting good policy before politics and bringing these millions of dollars in to help our neediest school children.  What a disappointment that the same radical spirit that has so undermined our government in Washington is now seeping into Tennessee politics.

"Those of us elected by Tennesseans should remember that these federal funds our citizens’ tax dollars at work.  The money that we send to Washington can either be put to work in Tennessee or put to work in other states.  Already this year we’ve seen the Republicans refuse billions of dollars in healthcare funding by refusing to expand Medicaid – a program that is already helping thousands of working families and seniors just over the border in Kentucky.  Now they give up millions that would allow over seven thousand Tennessee kids a better start in life.  Apparently, handing out our citizens’ money to other states is the New Math among Tennessee Republicans.  It doesn’t add up - unless you care more about your radical base than about doing what’s right for Tennessee school children and working families."

Lee Establishes Grant For Young Alumni

The Office of Alumni Relations at Lee University has established the Young Alumni Professional Development Grant, awarded to young professionals in the early stages of their career to support alumni development in the early years following graduation. The annual award is meant to continue the momentum of a Lee education while encouraging alumni to participate in initiatives, ... (click for more)

Chattanooga State Presents Financial Aid Workshop In Kimball

Chattanooga State Community College will present a Financial Aid Workshop on Wednesday, Feb. 11 from 3-6 p.m. (CST) at the Chattanooga State Kimball Site located at 2100 Main Street in Kimball. This workshop is scheduled to not only answer questions, but to aid students in filing their 2015-2016 FAFSA forms. Tennessee Promise students are required to complete FAFSA before Feb. ... (click for more)

Chief Fletcher Gives Maximum Punishment To Officer Who Fired At Vehicle That Backed Toward Him; Attorney Vows To Fight To Reverse Decision

Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher has given a maximum punishment to an officer who fired four shots toward a vehicle after he said the driver backed into his vehicle with him standing behind it. Chief Fletcher sustained a finding of “improper use of force – discharge of firearm.” He suspended Officer Alex Olson for 30 days without pay – the maximum suspension allowed ... (click for more)

Van Found On Its Side Off Burkhalter Gap Road; Woman's Remains Nearby; May Be Trenton Woman Missing Since June 4

A van was found on its side off Burkhalter Gap Road on the side of Lookout Mountain near Trenton, Ga., on Wednesday with a woman's body nearby. Authorities said the woman may be a missing Trenton woman. Justine Marie Creech had been missing since June 4. The discovery was made by a woman out hiking. A skull and remains were near the rear tire, authorities said.  ... (click for more)

Shelley Andrews Will Be Missed

Shelley Andrews was one of the kindest, most thoughtful and most effective laborers in our community.  Her work with the Friends of Moccasin Bend was exemplary.  She listened, she learned and she led with dignity and class. Her brave battle with ovarian cancer was a testament to her positive spirit and commitment to her work on behalf of the people of this region. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: This One’s For ‘Grifter’

Back in October of 2013 a Facebook page called “OAF Nation” was created to “boost the morale” of the heroes who make up our nation’s military.” It was tongue-in-cheek satire, putting funny captions on every-day pictures that showed members of the Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard as they defended our country. Our fighting men and women loved it. It quickly went viral and today ... (click for more)