SCORE joins Highlands Town Hall Debate

Not-for-profit group supports 'renewed focus' on education, health care

thumb_HighlandsDebateLogoFinalThe Highlands, Nashville's WTVF NewsChannel5, Tennessee Tech University, and the League of Women Voters of Tennessee today announced that the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) is joining as a sponsor in the Highlands Town Hall Debate 2010, a general-election gubernatorial debate scheduled for Sept. 14 at TTU in Cookeville.

SCORE, a not-for-profit, non-partisan group led by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, encourages sound education policy decisions at the state and local levels. Earlier this year, in January, the group co-sponsored a NewsChannel5 gubernatorial debate that included all major candidates in the Democratic and Republican primary fields.

"SCORE has a track record of promoting a non-partisan focus on important issues in this election," Sandy Boonstra, news director of NewsChannel5, said. "We're pleased to work with them once again."

Frist, a surgeon who represented Tennessee in the U.S. Senate for 12 years, said SCORE supports a renewed focus on key issues, including education and health care. "Ensuring a better education for Tennessee students is critical as we work to improve health outcomes and promote a better quality of life for all Tennesseans," he said. "SCORE is proud to support an open dialogue on the important issues in this election."

As the first televised general-election gubernatorial debate held outside of Nashville, Memphis, or Knoxville, the Highlands Town Hall Debate 2010 will give focus to hometown issues facing rural and suburban areas — with an emphasis on economic development, education, and health care.

The Highlands is a public/private economic development initiative among Overton, Putnam and White Counties managed by the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce.

Using guidelines established by its partners, the debate will offer a unique perspective on voter attitudes by soliciting video questions in advance via YouTube and allowing Tennesseans to vote on which questions they want asked of the candidates. Written questions may also be submitted via the debate's website. The debate will include a section for live audience questions and a section for candidate-to-candidate questions.

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