The following statement is attributed to Beth Brown, President of the Tennessee Education Association:
“Tennessee is 45th in the nation in what we invest per student. While Gov. Lee outlined millions in new K-12 investment, our public schools need $1.2 billion to get us to the Southeast average and out of the bottom ten in funding. It is something our state can afford, and it’s the best investment our state can make.”
“The governor has proposed $117 million for increased teacher salaries. While that is a large yearly increase, it breaks down to about $1,450 per teacher, or approximately $28 a week. The governor said he wants Tennessee to be the best state in the nation to teach, and we agree. But the state increased its cash reserves by more than $1 billion last year. Clearly the governor and the General Assembly can and should do more to make teaching a professionally paid career.”
Brown added that Tennessee teachers on average spend $500 out of their own pockets for necessary classroom supplies, and teachers make 22 percent less on average than other Tennesseans with a college degree.
Beth Brown is a veteran high school English teacher from Grundy County.