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Rep. Cepicky Introduces Bill Regarding AI Use In K-12 Schools And Universities

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The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –

As Tennessee universities begin to formulate official policies regarding the use of AI in coursework at the college level, one state representative has introduced a bill that will require all K-12 school districts and public institutions of higher education to adopt rules governing its use.

House Bill 1630 (HB1630) intends for all of Tennessee’s public schools, charter schools, and universities to have a policy in place before they begin a new school year this fall. Policies will spell out for students, teachers, faculty, and other staff how AI may and may not be used for “instructional and assignment purposes.”

Cepicky began work on the bill last year after he received reports that students were using AI to plagiarize papers. While he believes there are positives to using AI in certain circumstances, such as tutoring, Cepicky feels that guardrails surrounding the technology need to be put into place as soon as possible for those in the classroom.

Senator Joey Hensley (R-Hohenwald-District 28) is sponsoring the corresponding bill in the senate (SB1711). 

Last year, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UTK) decided to integrate AI into their system, calling it an “enhancement” of the learning experience. UTK was prompted to develop a policy after a case of AI-related plagiarism was discovered.

The university’s guidelines offer professors three different options for the use of AI in their classrooms.

The first option is open use, allowing students to use AI for any class assignment with the caveat that AI is given proper credit. The second option, moderate use, allows students to use AI for only specific assignments while giving credit. The strictest option allows professors to ban AI altogether, this option considers the use of AI to be a form of academic dishonesty.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) set up their website to provide students and faculty with resources for using ChapGPT and Generative AI and UTC also offers a six-month online bootcamp on AI/Machine Learning.

Vanderbilt University’s College of Arts and Sciences also allows students to use AI for their courses unless their professors explicitly forbid it from being utilized.

About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. 

You can reach Paula at

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