Tennessee Education Association

Great Public Schools for All Students


Don't Leave Money on the Table!

Association members are eligible for thousands in grants!

Teachers are constantly dipping into their own pockets to fund classroom projects that  fall outside of the school budget, but there are other ways to get these projects funded. NEA, TEA and our partner organizations offer a number of grant opportunities exclusively to association members. 

TEA pushes back on state board attempt to expand power over teacher licenses

Proposed rule changes would jeopardize teacher licenses, limit local control over teacher discipline

TEA has objected to massive changes in the teacher licensure rules proposed by the State Board of Education, and halted an attempt to quickly pass them in a key legislative committee. 

Now the state board is trying to circumvent the law on passing rules by labeling them “emergency” and stating that  students’ safety is at stake. 
The idea that students were at-risk under current rules is a sham.   

Legislative leaders demand action on pay raises

TEA made the 2017 session about getting state raise funds into teacher paychecks. We testified in committees, lobbied legislators and leaders, and pushed across the state for change. 

Legislative leaders are responding. On the last session day, House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) and House Finance Ways and Means Chairman Charles Sargent (R-Franklin) sent a letter to Commissioner Candice McQueen and the State Board of Education, outlining the case to drive state funds into teacher salaries. 

State plan, legislation miss opportunities to reduce testing, improve public education

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law in late 2015. The new federal education law replaces No Child Left Behind and gives states flexibility around issues like testing and accountability. Tennessee has already submitted its required ESSA plan to the US Department of Education for review. Just last week, the legislature passed HB 308, the legislative counterpart to the ESSA plan. While there are some positive elements, the plan also includes some key missed opportunities. 

Local Control

Billions of taxpayer dollars funneled nationally to fund vouchers

Privatization advocates have had their sights set on Tennessee for years, but TEA has worked hard to hold them off for four straight legislative sessions, keeping public taxpayer money where it belongs - in public schools’ budgets.

These groups have been working again this session to privatize our public schools through a number of different schemes, including the Memphis pilot program and expansion of the special education vouchers. Both bills are still moving in the legislature. 

"Thank God for Memphis!"

The primary sponsors of vouchers for Memphis hail from Knoxville and Germantown. 

By Jim Gifford, Rutherford EA member

No matter what, some Tennessee legislators know a good deal when they see it.  

If a proposed new bill or untested program concerning public education is considered too risky or is unpopular with the constituents in their own districts, they can always try it out in the perpetual doormat called “Memphis”.