The top education official in Tennessee is resigning. Since 2019, Penny Schwinn has been education commissioner, bringing about significant academic and logistical adjustments.
The state revamped its K-12 funding formula and launched a $100 million phonics-based literacy program under Schwinn’s leadership. Tennessee became the first state in the nation to register its teacher apprenticeship program with the U.S. Department of Labor under her leadership.
Replacement of Tennessee Education Commissioner
Additionally, Schwinn was in charge of Tennessee’s education department during a time of extreme uncertainty. In a statement released on Monday afternoon, Gov. Bill Lee expressed gratitude to her for her service.
According to Lee, “Penny has played a key role in our administration’s work to ensure educational opportunity for Tennessee students, secure the next generation of teachers, and navigate historic learning challenges.”
Tennessee has loosened transgender students’ rights and restricted what students can learn about racism in recent years. Schwinn said she has stayed zeroed in on teaching understudies “as a matter of some importance.”
There was a lot of controversy during her tenure as commissioner. Schwinn has been criticized by Democrats for his support of charter schools and school voucher programs. A few legislators raised worries about a likely irreconcilable circumstance when she marked an agreement with an organization her significant other worked for.
At the conclusion of the school year, Schwinn will resign. Lizzette Gonzalez Reynolds, appointed by Gov. Lee, will take her place on July 1. Lee stated, “She is well-suited to continue our work to deliver a high-quality education and expand school choice for Tennessee students because of Lizzette’s significant education policy expertise and leadership.”
Gonzalez Reynolds stated that supporting Tennessee’s school voucher program, also known as education savings accounts, is her first priority. The controversial policy allows families to pay for private schools with public school funds provided they meet certain income requirements. Reynolds is Vice President of Policy at ExcelInEd, a school choice group founded by Florida Governor Jeb Bush.