Sally Absher

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Sally Absher
Sally Absher.jpg
Former candidate for
Board Member, Knox Board of Education, District 4
Elections and appointments
Last electionMay 6, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sWittenberg University
Master'sUniversity of Tennessee
(timed out) Campaign website
Sally Absher campaign logo
Sally Absher was a candidate for District 4 on the Knox County school board in Tennessee. She, along with fellow challenger Jeffrey Clark, lost to incumbent Lynne Fugate in the primary election on May 6, 2014.



See also: Knox County School District elections (2014)


Sally Absher lost to incumbent Lynne Fugate in the primary election on May 6, 2014 for the District 4 seat. Since Fugate received at least 50 percent "plus one" of the vote, she outright won the election.[1]


Knox County School District, District 4 Primary Election, 4-year term, May 6, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngLynne Fugate Incumbent 54.4% 2,327
     Nonpartisan Sally Absher 34.3% 1,464
     Nonpartisan Jeffrey S. (Scott) Clark 11.3% 483
Total Votes 4,274
Source:, "Election results," May 22, 2014 These results are official.


Absher has reported $6,440.74 in contributions and $5,699.58 in expenditures to the Knox County Clerk, leaving her campaign with $741.16 on hand as of April 29, 2014.[2]


Absher did not receive an endorsement in this election.

What was at stake?

Issues in the district

TEA vs. Knox County Board of Education lawsuit

In March 2014, the Tennessee Education Association (TEA) filed a lawsuit against the Knox County Board of Education, citing that the system "[unconstitutionally used] Tennessee Value Added Assessment System (TVAAS) estimates in high-stakes bonus decisions." The investigation focuses on Knox County teacher Lisa Trout, who they say was unjustly denied a bonus as a result of the ambiguous TVAAS system. The TEA maintains that the TVAAS estimates are misleading, being that they only use a small segment of student test scores to determine teacher effectiveness. According to the TEA, the issue with Trout only echo a larger fundamental problem affecting teachers across the state. The Knox County Board of Education has not commented on the investigation thus far.[3]

Smart Spending grant

In July 2013, Knox County School District received a $1.2 million "Smart Spending" grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The goal of the grant is to provide assistance to district officials in "[better aligning] its financial resources and the schools' educational mission." The district received $850,000 from the foundation and the remainder from the Great Schools Partnership. Knox County School District was one of only four school districts in the U.S. to receive such a grant.[4]

About the district

See also: Knox County School District, Tennessee
Knox County School District is located in Knox, Tennessee
Knox County School District is located in Knox County, Tennessee. Knox County is home to 432,226 residents according to the 2010 U.S. Census.[5] Knox County School District is the third-largest school district in Tennessee, serving 58,639 students during the 2011-12 school year.[6]


Knox County overperformed in comparison to the rest of Tennessee in terms of higher education achievement, median household income and poverty rate. The United States Census Bureau found that 34.3% of Knox County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 23.5% for Tennessee as a whole. The median household income in Knox County was $47,270 compared to $44,140 for the state of Tennessee. The poverty rate in Knox County was 14.2% compared to 17.3% for the entire state.[5]

Racial Demographics, 2010[5]
Race Knox County (%) Tennessee (%)
White 86.5 79.3
Black or African American 9.1 17.0
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.4 0.4
Asian 2.1 1.6
Two or More Races 1.9 1.6
Hispanic or Latino 3.8 4.8

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[7] This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.

Recent news

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