Tennessee Teachers Respond to Gov. Lee's Budget Proposal

Advocate Andy

Tennessee Education Association "encouraged" by proposal, calls for more funding going forward

Following Gov. Bill Lee's State of the State Address in which he outlined proposed improvements to funding for K-12 education and a 4% base salary increase for the state's teachers, the Tennessee Education Association (TEA) welcomed the news and called for a stronger investment in the state's public schools.

“Tennessee teachers are the best in the Southeast, and we have the outcomes and data to back that up, but we are not paid as the best and are behind our peers in neighboring states,” said TEA President Tanya Coats. “Teachers, like other Tennesseans, have been affected by inflation and rising costs in the family budget. State revenues are strong, and we’ve seen record budget surpluses for many years. More can be done to improve the economics of being a professional teacher in our state, and TEA will continue to advocate for professional salaries for our dedicate educators.”

Coats noted that the proposed teacher pay increase will bring Tennessee's minimum teacher salary to $42,000 a year. She then pointed out that Alabama's minimum teacher pay is $43,358.

Coats also noted that Tennessee typically ranks in the bottom ten in the nation in terms of investment in public schools. She expressed hope that this and future budgets would improve on that ranking.

“We have the means to improve state investment in our children and I believe Tennesseans want to see that investment made,” said Coats. “The budget process in the General Assembly will provide all of us an opportunity to see if and how TISA improves funding to help students and hard-working educators.”

Comments / 6

Published by

Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN

More from Advocate Andy

Comments / 0