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Tennessee education commissioner under fire for alleged false tuition waiver

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Tennessee Education Commissioner Lizzette Reynolds is once again in the hot seat.

Her office admits Reynolds signed forms certifying she’d been a state employee for more than six months to get a tuition waiver, but that wasn’t the case.

READ MORE | ‘Find someone else’: Tennessee Democrats call on state education leader to resign

Some people are outraged because they say Commissioner Reynolds is not qualified for her position under state law and now, they say she’s taking money from the state she doesn’t qualify for.

State Representative John Ray Clemmons says the first issue is Commissioner Reynolds is unqualified for her position under state law. One of the biggest reasons is he says she’s not qualified to teach in Tennessee.

What signal does it send that the governor is willing to hire somebody who is completely unqualified, who would misrepresent something on a state application and seek a tuition waiver from a state university just to get on the job training. This is all completely humiliating,” Representative Clemmons emphasized.

FOX 17 News reached out to Commissioner Reynolds to get her side on this matter, but she has not responded yet.

FOX 17 News then reached out to the Tennessee Department of Education and they claim it was an administrative error and Commissioner Reynolds personally covered the cost of all classes upon realizing the mistake.

ALSO READ | TN commissioner registered to vote in Davidson County, state dept. of education says

We followed up to this email asking how this was an administrative error and the department responded, “It was an unfortunate error. Again, I’d reiterate that upon realizing it, the Commissioner immediately personally paid for all classes necessary to clear up the matter. She is focused on moving forward with the work of the department.”

“It’s her signature. Hopefully she read the form if she’s going to be a commissioner of education and knew she was lying when she did it. Paying the money back doesn’t resolve the issue of the fact that she lied and committed perjury,” Conservative Radio Host, Steve Gill, emphasized.

On the public higher education fee waiver, you can see Commissioner Reynolds signed this document on August 11th, 2023.

The Tennessee Department of Education says Commissioner Reynolds is focused on moving forward with the work of the department, but others believe the attorney general should prosecute Reynolds.

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