Former state Rep. Bill Dunn will earn $98,000 in his full-time position as senior advisor to state Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn. He will work from both Nashville and Knoxville, according to Victoria Robinson, director of media for the state Department of Education.
Dunn started work Monday, Nov. 9, according to a press release from Gov. Bill Lee.
(Note: the new job will boost Dunn’s state pension, which is based on his highest-paid years. He has worked for 26 years as a representative, which currently pays about $24,000. Look for a follow-up when we get actual numbers.)
Knox County educators took to social media and the knoxtntoday.com website to criticize the appointment.
Retired principal Martha Jean Bratton wrote, “You nailed it. This is absolutely awful.”
Former teacher/librarian/South Knox school board member Amber Rountree wrote: “Appreciate you digging into the details of this position … laughable to consider him an ed expert. In addition to being a voucher vulture his other claim to fame is trying to destroy pre-K.”
Candace Cooley Bannister of Farragut wrote on the SPEAK forum: “I have been around this man three times. Each time he found reason to tell one of his disgusting ‘stories’ about teachers who do absolutely nothing all day. So disrespectful of teachers and the whole profession. Nothing like having someone who hates public school teachers as a senior advisor to the commissioner of education. Insulting.”
Dunn got support from two readers: Ginger Treece wrote, “Bill is an incredible asset for our state! He cares about our children!” And Ryan Cox wrote: “I support Bill Dunn! Thanks to Gov. Lee for utilizing his skills to serve our students.”
Earlier story here.
Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of KnoxTNToday.com