There’s a storm a’coming if school board member Patti Bounds takes on state Rep. Bill Dunn in the Republican Primary of 2020. Dunn, 57, was elected in 1994.
Bounds and others on the local school board are battling hard to stop legislation that Dunn is carrying to pay a state subsidy to children in private schools. Knox TN Today columnist Frank Cagle has written about problems with this bill here and here.
You would expect public school leaders to oppose putting tax money into private schools. And you would expect Dunn, whose five kids were schooled at home and in church schools, to support vouchers.
This is an issue on which thinking people can disagree.
But the problem comes when Dunn misrepresents the local school board and the people of North Knox County by telling other legislators that there’s overwhelming support here for his bill – which has been written to affect only the state’s four largest school districts.
That’s just not true.
And Bounds, a career kindergarten teacher at Brickey-McCloud, knows this district overwhelmingly supports public schools and the teachers who work there.
Contacted following Wednesday’s school board meeting, Bounds said she and husband Tommy aren’t committed yet to a race. To beat Dunn would take “someone with a lot of name recognition; someone willing to walk 10 to 15 miles every day (to campaign).”
She said several people have talked to her about running, and she’s added their names and numbers to a list. Bounds is a rock-solid Republican – pretty much the same woman who married her Holston High School sweetheart. She calls herself “a faith follower of Jesus, a wife and mother of four, grammi of 13 with the arrival of Lainey.”
Both Dunn and Bounds will say their ideas are best for kids. Dunn will be well-funded. But Patti Bounds would run with the full-out support of most teachers and many parents. If Bounds runs, she can beat Dunn. But if he wins, at least he could go back to Nashville speaking truthfully about support or non-support for public education in his district.
No George Washington at city hall
David Briley became Nashville’s mayor when Megan Barry was forced to resign after exposure of an extramarital affair. Seems her paramour worked for the city and had extensive overtime.
Now Briley is blundering toward an election while making a secret deal to chop down 21 cherry trees near Riverfront Park to accommodate the upcoming NFL Draft. People were annoyed for three reasons: “secret,” “chop” and concessions to a powerful corporation.
Briley responded to the backlash by requiring the NFL to remove the trees intact and replant them elsewhere, even though experts said that could kill them anyway, according to The Nashville Scene.
Just when things started to calm, Briley’s press secretary retaliated against the reporter who broke the story. Jason Steen of Scoop Nashville tweeted that he’d been removed from the mayor’s email list for announcements.
Welcome, Kellie Harper
Pat Summitt, in her final book, “Sum It Up,” called Kellie Jolley “a brilliant, tough-jawed Tennessee point guard” (p. 251) and “one of the best I’d ever seen at the (point guard) position. She invariably called the right play at the right moment, and sent the ball to the right place, but more than that, Kellie had a quality that everyone on our team drew from: heart. She was our most conscientious player, the daughter of a coach and schoolteacher, who got absolutely everything out of her physical talent and brought her best every day” (pp. 264-65).
High praise from a notoriously tough coach.