The Memphis Flyer has learned that President George W. Bush will be visiting Tennessee next week as part of the campaign to lobby the Congress-- and the nation-- for his education plan.
The president will visit Townsend Elementary School in Blount County next Wednesday and, sources say, will be making a major new policy statement on education.
Expected to accompany Bush during his visit are First Lady Laura Bush, Governor Don Sunduist, Senators Bill Frist and Fred Thompson, and U.S. Reps. Van Hilleary (R-4th) and John "Jimmy" Duncan (R-2nd).
Townsend was reportedly selected by Vice President Dick Cheney as the site of the visit for its combination of a low-income student base and relatively high achievement scores. It thus affords an example of the presidents performance-based educational model.
The Knoxville-area appearance by President Bush will be a recap of sorts of a visit made by candidate Bush to Knoxville on election eve last November.
That appearance solidified what was already a lead for Bush over then Vice President Al Gore, a native son, and contributed to the Republican's capture of Tennessee's crucial 11 electoral votes from Democrat Gore.