More work to be done to ensure increase ends up in teacher paychecks
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Education Association issued the following statement in response to Governor Bill Haslam’s State of the State address. All statements may be attributed to TEA President Barbara Gray, an Arlington Community Schools administrator.
“The governor’s proposal to put $100 million into teacher salaries demonstrates his continued commitment to fulfilling his promise to make Tennessee the fastest improving state in teacher salaries. The key, now, will be getting safeguards in place to ensure that this 4 percent raise ends up in teachers’ paychecks, unlike in previous years.”
“As a result of policy changes at the state level no longer requiring that the money be applied to teachers’ base salaries, the average teacher in Tennessee only sees a fraction – if any – of the governor’s proposed increases each year. Meanwhile, we have many educators facing increasing insurance expenses, as well as digging deeper and deeper into their own pockets for classroom supplies. To attract and retain the best teachers, it is crucial that Tennessee stay competitive with neighboring states in teacher pay, something we have been unable to do in recent years. The governor’s proposal sets us on the right path to making sure there is a qualified, committed educator in every classroom across the state.”
“Gov. Haslam’s proposed investments in career technical education and English language learning shows his commitment to helping all Tennessee students succeed. This funding increase will ensure more students are equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to enter the workforce or continue on to post-secondary education.”
“TEA also applauds the governor for his Tennessee Reconnect proposal to expand access to free community college to adults. Teachers believe learning is a lifelong process, and we are thrilled to see the governor providing an opportunity for all Tennesseans to continue their education.”