Tennessee Education Association

Great Public Schools for All Students


While progress is made, more to be done to improve Tennessee teacher pay

With $72 million in this year’s state budget for teacher raises, and $430 million over the past five years, there would be an expectation that all teachers would see improvement on their pay stub. 

TEA salary data shows that in previous years the amount of additional funding would have led to substantial increases in average teacher pay. Yet the state comptroller found what TEA and teachers already know—the average salary increase was little more than half that figure.

When professional livelihood is on the line, members count on TEA’s team of legal experts to have their back

No teacher ever expects to be in the position of their license being in jeopardy. Unfortunately, as a result of a combination of factors, TEA has seen a 200% increase in member licensure cases since 2017. 

For TEA member Jason Smith, his problems began with bureaucratic  red tape. When he was recruited to teach in Metro Nashville, his Oklahoma teaching license was to be transferred and he was to be placed on the salary schedule with credit for his more than 15 years of teaching in Oklahoma and Japan. 

A lone voice isn’t as important as a collective voice

By TEA President Beth Brown

As a high school English teacher, I have always operated under the philosophy that every student loves to read: reluctant readers simply haven’t yet found what it is they like. In my effort to spark their love of reading, I spend countless hours and innumerable conversations trying to discern exactly what it is that my students care about.


Like the undead in the hit series Game of Thrones, dead-headed privatization ideas just keep coming and coming. And while they may break through a wall, the war is far from over. 

After months of pork-laden incentives, strong-arm threats, tight committee votes, dozens of bill changes, and millions spent in high-paid lobbyists roaming the Capitol, the House narrowly passed the Lee administration’s voucher legislation 51-46. The Senate passed the legislation 19-14. 

Community schools bill to become law, providing districts another option to improve student learning

Legislation supporting the work of transformational community schools unanimously passed both chambers of the Tennessee Legislature and is headed to the governor’s desk for signature.

Sponsored by Rep. Kirk Haston (R-Lobelville) and Sen. Steven Dickerson (R-Nashville), HB1330/SB1058 highlights the positive impact community schools have on student achievement and instructs the Tennessee Department of Education to provide technical assistance and “encourage LEAs and schools to combine multiple funding sources to create community schools and to support the schools.”

Stand With Public Education, Defeat Vouchers Mon. 4/22

April 22, 2019 - 3:30pm

RSVP HERE for April 22 Walk to the Capitol in Nashville

Hopefully you have read our messages about taking a stand on Monday, April 22, to let state legislators know how important it is to vote NO on Gov. Lee’s ESA/voucher bill. Our elected leaders need to know citizens in counties across Tennessee do not want to see vouchers or any other scheme that could bankrupt Tennessee’s public schools. We need every member to do the following action:

You also may want to join others and be a part of a group event.

  • Plan an event in your school on April 22, by utilizing the ideas in TEA’s ESA Voucher toolkit. This kit has materials and action planning guides for TEA members and other groups that are fighting against vouchers. Please share your plans with your UniServ Coordinator and/or local association president. If they are already planning something you might want to join together to make an even bigger impact. Or . . .                   
  • Come to Nashville on Monday, April 22, for a march on the Capitol demonstrating that vouchers would deal a mortal blow to public education in Tennessee. Plan to gather at the TEA building (801 Second Avenue North, Nashville). Food will be ready by 3:30 p.m. Procession will start forming by 4:30 p.m. Procession will continue forming until around 5 p.m. There will be ample parking at or near the TEA building and we’ll post traffic updates on social media throughout the day on Monday. RSVP HERE

Whatever you do – watch for updates from TEA!

We're asking legislators to bury ESAs/vouchers so public education in Tennessee won't be dealt a mortal blow. 

We look forward to seeing your posts on Monday – or seeing you in Nashville for the march on the Capitol! In the meantime, please contact your legislators and urge them to vote NO on ESA/vouchers!

Please work with your TEA UniServ or local president to plan an event in your area. Click here to view ideas for local events. 

If needed, please take a personal or professional day to attend. TEA does not advocate taking a sick day. 

Watch TEA social media for more updates! Some materials are intentionally not branded with TEA's logo, because this is collaborative event with a number of groups and organizations opposed to ESA vouchers.