All children and families deserve a bright future. We know that when we all work together, our state has the ability to make this a reality. We do this by changing the conversation to focus on what really matters: putting our families first. TN Prospers is a non-partisan policy and advocacy group that works with everyone in the community who shares our goal of creating long lasting opportunities for all of our families, from cradle to career.
Backed by Seeding Success, our vision is to be at the forefront of creating policy that makes Tennessee a place where all children and families prosper.
Shelby County has led in innovation related to Voluntary Pre-K (VPK) inTennessee. By going the extra mile in providing wraparound services for all families with children enrolled in VPK, Shelby County is able to reach more low-income families with services such as health screeners, social workers, and other childhood development resources than traditional VPK programs.
In 2016, Tennessee had 138,100 STEM employees, and this number is projected to increase to 167,950 in 2026 (“The Demand for STEM,” 2).The demand in STEM jobs calls for a future workforce who will be well equipped for those roles. However, Shelby County Schools is facing a great shortage of teachers which has also impacted STEM subjects like math and College and Career TechnicalEducation.
A majority of Opportunity Youth in Memphis hold High Schooldiplomas or High School equivalencies, and many have acquired at least somepostsecondary credits. Currently, there are tens of thousands of open job positions inShelby County, but the majority of those positions that pay a living wage require some postsecondary degree or a career and technical training credential.
In April of 2020, Public Chapter No. 454 task force dedicated to expanding computer science education throughout the state of Tennessee published a statewide plan featuring policy recommendations. Among six recommended policies, high school access to computer science education has been identified as the priority strategy. The high school computer science education policy recommendations suggest the development of a law that requires each public high school to offer one computer science course
In order for Tennessee to realize the full potential of its postsecondary system–as a lever for individual skill building, for social and economic mobility, and to build a competitive workforce–the needs of students from low-income backgrounds will demand policy intervention. Students of low income make up over 60 percent of those enrolled full time at Tennessee’s Community Colleges and Colleges of Applied Technology,