Tennessee education commissioner testifies before committee after call for no-confidence vote

State lawmakers aired grievances over missteps by the Tennessee Department of Education to Commissioner Penny Schwinn as she appeared before the House Education Committee on Tuesday to provide an update on school reopening.

Broadly, legislators criticized the department for communication breakdowns and stressed the importance of improving students’ performance in reading and math.

“There has to be trust between you and this committee,” said Rep. Scott Cepicky, R-Culleoka, addressing Schwinn directly. “We have to know that, philosophically, we’re on the same page. There has to be cooperation between us, you, and Gov. (Bill) Lee. There’s a million kids who are depending on us to get this right.”

Cepicky outlined missteps the department made in the rollout of the Child Wellbeing Checks toolkit.

“I don’t ever want to be blindsided by something like this again, OK?” Cepicky said. “I’m just telling you, as representative of District 64. As we move

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