With Focus on Public Education, Karl Dean for Governor Releases Third Comparative Ad with Strong Opposition to Arming Teachers and Private School Vouchers

With Focus on Public Education, Karl Dean for Governor Releases Third Comparative Ad with Strong Opposition to Arming Teachers and Private School Vouchers

Nashville, Tenn. (Oct. 5, 2018) — The Karl Dean for Governor campaign will begin airing a new ad this week that highlights Dean’s commitment to increasing funding for public education and school safety while expressing strong opposition to arming teachers and private school voucher programs.

The ad, “Best for Them,” compares Dean’s position with that of the Republican nominee, Bill Lee, who supports introducing voucher programs to Tennessee and putting guns in the hands of our teachers. It features Clay Haynes and Katie Skartvedt and their concern for their two young children following pre-school.

“I think Bill Lee is just wrong,” Haynes says in the 30-second spot, which will air statewide. “He supports private school vouchers and arming our teachers, which would take money away from our public schools and not make them safer. No parent wants that.”

In the ad Dean says, “As governor, I’ll protect public school funding, and our children’s safety will be my top priority for every family.”

This week’s first debate between the candidates made it clear Dean and Lee have vastly different approaches to public education in Tennessee.

On stage Tuesday at the University of Memphis, Dean said, “I disagree with Mr. Lee strongly on his support and advocacy for vouchers. I think vouchers take money out of the public school system and move it into a private system, and there’s no guarantee on the quality of those schools, and the states that have done it have had real problems.”

Dean also made it clear that while his opponent believes arming teachers is the ‘cost-effective’ approach to school safety, putting guns in the classroom would create more problems and concerns.

Dean has long held the belief that the common sense approach would be to provide school districts with the resources they need for trained law enforcement and school resource officers. Dean added that among the hundreds of educators he’s met during his time as mayor and on the campaign trail, the overwhelming consensus is that teachers want to teach. They do not want to be armed.

“I think some of Mr. Lee’s views are shaped by a lack of the right kind of experience,” says Dean. “The only way I know that vouchers do not work is from decades of public service and the experience of being the mayor of Nashville, where we increased school budgets by 37%, invested more than $600 million in improvements to school buildings and raised starting teacher pay from 30th in the state to 3rd. I’ve done this before, and I can do it again as governor.”

Dean’s first two comparative ads, which began airing in September, highlighted his strong support for Medicaid expansion and his opponent’s lack of a plan to curb the trend of hospital closures, expand coverage to hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans and bring back billions of our own federal taxpayer dollars to Tennessee.

Dean’s television ads continue to support his commitment to keeping his campaign focused on the issues that matter most to Tennesseans. Dean, who was mayor of Nashville from 2007 to 2015, has accepted invitations to more than 20 debates and forums during the general election campaign and looks forward to the remaining debates Mr. Lee has agreed to in Kingsport and Nashville. It’s important that Tennesseans have a chance to hear how both candidates plan to address public education and other key issues for the state.