Tennessee Education Association

Great Public Schools for All Students


Let's learn from voucher failures in other states

Tennessee gets more value for every education dollar than almost any other state. 

We are 45th in funding per student and 9th in on-time graduation rate. In fact, both our graduation rate and our average ACT score keeps going up. Money invested in public schools gets results.

These facts haven’t stopped privatizers from spending millions of dollars to push risky, unproven voucher schemes on Tennessee. For the past four years, TEA has been the number one opponent of vouchers at the General Assembly, and thanks to members, we’ve won every fight.

Problems mount when ACT scores are good and TNReady is bad

There is growing concern about the state tests.

One of Tennessee’s best performing districts, Williamson County, had a 2016 average ACT score of 23.8, out-pacing the national average by three points (or 15 percent higher), exceeding the threshold for college readiness. Scores from the new TNReady end-of-course tests, however, show only 44 percent of Williamson high school students are at grade level in math.

Wilson County EA successful in fight for teacher raises

Thanks to the efforts of the Wilson County Education Association, the Wilson County Commission passed a pay raise for educators and approved funds to build a new Gladeville middle school.

The approved raises include $1,000 dollars to teachers with one to five years of experience, $2,000 to teachers with six to 10, and $3,000 for teachers with 11+ years. The district is required to use the allocated money exclusively for teacher raises.

TEA wins Shelby Co. lawsuit, protects tenure rights of all educators

TEA’s legal team took Shelby County Schools to federal court on behalf of members who were “excessed” and denied their tenure rights. Shelby County Schools invented the term “excessing,” where a principal or director could lay-off teachers regardless of tenure status. On August 3, 2016, the federal judge agreed with TEA that tenure must be respected and that the law must be followed when staffing positions within the district, and now those members are entitled to reinstatement and full back pay.

TEA statement on IEA special ed voucher program

The Tennessee Education Association again expressed concern over the state’s new IEA Voucher program and urged parents to proceed with caution.

“Programs like the one the Tennessee Department of Education is launching today have been subject to fraud and abuse in other states,” said TEA President Barbara Gray. “This is of even greater concern to TEA because this program is targeted toward our most vulnerable children who need strong educational services.”