Nashville, Tennessee (WKRN) – Federal education leaders are in Central Tennessee to discuss what schools need.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona began a two-day visit to the Central State on Thursday with a roundtable on rural education in Hartsville.
“It’s about equality and confidence that all students, regardless of their zip code or their economic status, have equal opportunities for high-quality education,” said Clint Sutherfield, director of Truesdale County Schools.
Cardona, director of the National Association for Rural Education Alain Pratt, rural educators and students will meet at the Trusdale County Community Center.
Sutherfield explained that there are certain issues affecting rural educators that need to be addressed at the federal, state and local levels, including the recruitment of well-qualified teachers and adequate funding.
“For example, in Tennessee, half of the local tax on the sale of options goes to schools. However, if you’re from a rural school, we don’t have a car dealership, we don’t have car dealerships, we don’t have Walmart, we don’t have Lowe’s, so we’re not generating a lot of local tax on options selling, ”he explained. “We get it from both food and things like that. But these are not expensive things. Thus, the distribution of income in rural areas is something that needs to be decided so that rural education is fair, as are your urban areas. ”
He added that the pandemic was also an example of problems unique to rural America, such as access to broadband when students worked remotely. Students from Trussdale County schools will also take part in a discussion with Cardona.
“Schools are built not for teachers, but for students, you know, students are our products. These are the people we include in the post-secondary education workforce, ”Sutherfield said. “These are the people we are preparing for our careers. They are our future for tomorrow. And yes, you know, it’s all about the students. And I’m just thrilled that someone from the national level wants to listen to students from Truesdale County. “
After the event in Truesdale County the Secretary of Education will be at the Music City Center of the National Conference of Education of the Association of School Leaders. On Friday, he is scheduled to visit the University of Tennessee to discuss the issue of teachers.