Patti Bounds is back from Nashville and she’s mad.
In a blog post Sunday, the Knox County school board member wrote, “I have worked tirelessly to defeat the Charter Authorization bill and the Education Savings Account bill (better known as educational vouchers) at the state level. I have called, emailed, texted and made visits to the Capitol. Unfortunately, both of these bills were passed by a legislature that succumbed to bribery, promises and gifts in exchange for votes.”
She further charged that legislators lacked understanding of the bills and an accurate description of their financial costs to taxpayers.
Bounds said she is “prayerfully considering” running for the legislative seat held for the past 25 years by Bill Dunn, the primary sponsor of the voucher bill in the House.
“It would be a big challenge – like David defeating Goliath,” she wrote. It’s obvious that Bounds wants to hear from residents. She’s looking for pledges of support.
Bounds has represented school board District 7 – Brickey, Dante, Halls, Heiskell, Powell (additionally, Copper Ridge/Pedigo). She taught at Brickey-McCloud. Her sons attended Powell schools.
Dunn has represented state house District 16 – Brickey, Dante, Halls, Heiskell, Powell (additionally, Fountain City area wards, 34-FC Library, 35-Shannondale city and county, 36-Gresham Middle and part of 39-Inskip Rec Center). His kids did a combination of home and parochial schooling. Find precincts here.
As a school board member, Bounds has been to Nashville twice to speak before a subcommittee, she says. She spoke on the failed TN Ready testing and on kindergarten portfolios. Most recently, she traveled to Nashville with other board members and superintendents for a private meeting with Gov. Bill Lee to explain the harm vouchers would have on our counties and plead with him to reconsider his support.
The voucher bill was so bad that three Knox County Republicans didn’t support it at one time or another. Jason Zachary switched his vote from no to yes on a promise by House Speaker Glen Casada that Knox County would be excluded. Martin Daniel abstained (effectively a no vote) on the bill’s final passage, and Dave Wright voted no initially, then asked the clerk to change his vote after the results were announced. Rick Staples and Gloria Johnson voted no consistently. Bill Dunn and Justin Lafferty voted yes consistently.