Image Credit: capitol.tn.gov
The Tennessee Conservative Staff –
Legislation that would require schools in Tennessee to create policies regarding the use of artificial intelligence (AI) by students, teachers, faculty, and staff has passed the House Education Administration Committee and will proceed to the Government Operations Committee.
House Bill 1630 (HB1630), sponsored by State Representative Scott Cepicky (R-Culleoka-District 64), mandates that all state universities and K-12 public and charter schools adopt a policy for the use of AI by students, teachers, and staff for instructional and assignment purposes.
Cepicky began by introducing an amendment to the bill. The amendment stipulates that K-12 schools must have a policy in place for the ’24-’25 school year, but universities may collaborate on the policies and have them completed by July 2025.
According to Cepicky, the purpose of this was to make sure that “academic integrity is in place.”
Representative John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge-District 33) noted that the University of Tennessee at Knoxville had already volunteered to spearhead the collaboration.
Cepicky then explained that artificial intelligence is available that can be a great asset for students but stated that it was important to be aware of the flip side of that as well. He also made the committee aware that Tennessee is the first state to be getting ahead of this issue.
Chairman Mark White (R-Memphis-District 83) agreed, “Technology has the power to do a great amount of good or the power not to.”
The bill passed in a voice vote with ayes prevailing. No one asked to be recorded as voting against the bill.
Because Chairman White chose to use a voice vote to hide the voting records of committee members from public scrutiny, we can only assume Chairman White supports House Bill 1630 and is responsible for the bill passing/failing. Chairman White could have used a transparent roll call vote, but opted for a voice vote to shield committee members and himself from accountability.
The bill will be scheduled for the Government Operations Committee.