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TN Politics: Reactions to Lawmakers on Education Funding and Recall Elections

This week, political analyst Otis Sanford discusses the legislative debut of Memphis' new Representative Justin Pearson, who riled lawmakerswith his attire.

Also in the House, Cameron Sexton floated the idea of declining nearly $2 billion in federal education funding so the State of Tennessee doesn't have to abide by federal education standards. Sanford says this would be yet another effort to create a curriculum dictated by Republicans while negatively affecting students who benefit from federal funding, such as students with disabilities.

Finally, Shelby County Representative Mark White has introduced a measureto lower the threshold for collecting signatures for a recall election. Sanford says that White may have had an unpopular Shelby County Clerk in mind when he introduced the bill, but making it too easy to recall elected officials — with just 6,000 signatures — could backfire against Republicans in a county that is largely Democratic.

Reporting from the gates of Graceland to the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, Christopher has covered Memphis news, arts, culture and politics for more than 20 years in print and on the radio. He is currently WKNO's News Director and Senior Producer at the University of Memphis' Institute for Public Service Reporting. Join his conversations about the Memphis arts scene on the WKNO Culture Desk Facebook page.