Jason Golden

Gov. Bill Lee has denied all requests for Williamson County Schools to be granted flexibility on the school calendar, instructional day and TCAP testing, responding to a letter that was sent to him by WCS Superintendent Jason Golden last Friday.

A copy of Lee’s email to Golden was posted on the Board of Education Facebook page for Eric Welch, who represents the 10th District. Welch had also posted a copy of Golden’s letter to the governor, which requested waivers of certain statutory requirements for the 2020-21 school year scheduled to start Aug. 7.

School districts across Tennessee and throughout the country are in the midst of reopening plans in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Golden had asked that Lee allow waivers for TCAP tests, the requirement of 180 days of classroom instruction, and the 6½ hours of instructional time each academic day. 

“WCS can continue to provide rigorous education our families expect while teaching scope and sequence without requiring teachers and students meet in a remote setting for 6½ hours each academic day,” Golden’s letter read in part.

Lee’s response, which was sent Wednesday afternoon, insisted his administration’s top priority regarding school reopening is to help ensure schools make local plans to reopen safely and provide students with a quality education. 

“At this time,” Lee wrote, “we will continue to focus on our students’ health and education as the top priority and to support district and school leaders as they develop local plans for the upcoming school year.”

WCS is one of 79 school districts across the state that have sent waiver requests to Lee or to the Tennessee Department of Education, according to Chalkbeat.

In the meantime, Golden will be sharing information about the district’s reopening plans Thursday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. It will be broadcast on the WCS YouTube channel.

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