S.C.O.R.E. paying teachers to be lobbyists?

You gotta hand it to the Common Core Caliphate known as S.C.O.R.E.

Just when you thought they couldn’t spend any more of those millions of dollars they got from the Race To The Top taxpayer-funded slush fund, they find yet another way to waste our money  on everything but the actual education of our children.

But this time they are walking real close to a dangerous line.  Last week they trotted out yet another new “initiative” (how many does that make now, 143?) called the Tennessee Educator Fellowship.  It looks for all the world like they are training and paying teachers to promote SCORE’s policies and legislative initiatives.  The following comes from their website:

  • Score will select… 20 classroom teachers.  The Fellows will … inform policymakers, and advocate for policies…

  • The fellowship… will weigh in on policy conversations at the state and local level.

  • Each Fellow will receive a $5,000 stipend.

Sure sounds like paid lobbying to us.  The minions at SCORE tried their best to employ weasel words in their announcement and application to avoid calling them lobbyists, but to no avail. Does SCORE intend to register these teachers with the Tennessee Ethics Commission?  It appears such activities would clearly fall under the Tennessee Ethics legal definitions of lobbying:

“Lobby” means to communicate, directly or indirectly, with any official in the legislative branch or executive branch for the purpose of influencing any legislative action or administrative action. (T.C.A. § 36301(16)(A))

“Lobbyist” means any person who engages in lobbying for compensation. (T.C.A. § 36301(18))

Sign up now to be the first to file a complaint with the Ethics Commission.

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