Thomas "TC" Weber
My name is Thomas "TC" Weber. I'm running for the Metro Nashville Public Schools district 2 school board seat. Longtime rep Joann Brannon is retiring. I'm running because I believe it is time for an honest conversation about our school system and a shift in our priorities.
We need to talk about teacher recruitment and retention. Teacher salaries need to be more competitive, but more money is not the only answer. We need to think more creatively about teacher compensation packages. Options like daycare, loan forgiveness, and low interest home loans need to be considered. Our teachers are the backbone of our educational system and we must treat them as such.
The culture at MNPS is broken. That needs to be fixed. A culture that honors teachers, honors students.
We need to talk about capital needs. Many of our students are attending schools whose facilities are sub-par at best. Maybe it is time to consider writing a one time bond that would generate enough income to repair all our schools. If we are willing to invest in convention centers, stadiums, and soccer stadiums, why not our school buildings?
We need to talk about whether or not we are using our existing resources in the most prudent manner. I believe schools are dramatically underfunded, but I do not believe it is fair to the taxpayer to ask for more resources without demonstrating that current resources are being used prudently.
We need to talk about our school discipline policies. I believe in restorative practices, but MNPS is currently not implementing those practices with fidelity. If we are going to commit to restorative justice, then we need to fully commit. Students and teachers have a right to feel safe when they enter an MNPS school.
I feel that the work I have done with schools over the last 5 years makes me uniquely qualified to lead the needed change in conversation. My wife is a teacher with MNPS and both of children attend Tusculum ES.
Over the past 4 years I've been active at Tusculum, reading to a kindergarten class every other week. I've sat on both the English Learners and Advanced Academic Councils. I've had the honor of being the chair for the Overton Cluster Parent Advisory committee for the last 3 years. This year, along with Abby Trotter, I was able to assist in making the Overton Cluster PAC one of only 3 functioning PACs in the city.
I write the blog Dad Gone Wild which focuses on educational issues. Writing this blog has allowed me to create a network of highly qualified educators. Educators whose voices aren't heard enough. I'm not running because I'm the smartest man in the room, but rather because I've been blessed to have access to a lot of really smart people.
I need your help to get those really smart voices to the table so that ALL our children can benefit.