By AMBER STEWART
Gov. Bill Haslam proposed $261 million in new money for public education during his State of the State speech, including $104.6 million for teacher raises.
It is Haslam’s latest effort to brand himself the “education governor,” as Tennessee continues to be the fastest improving state in the nation according to the National Report Card.
Local education leaders applauded the announcement as a sign of continued commitment to education. “Governor Haslam is certainly continuing his commitment to increase funding for both K-12 and Higher Education,” said Franklin Special School District Superintendent David Snowden. “We are appreciative of his dedication to continue to improve education in our great State!”
Head of Professional Educators of Tennessee expressed a similar sentiment saying, “We really appreciate the Governor highlighting the success of public education. He is fulfilling a commitment he made to classroom teachers in Tennessee.”
This is the second year in a row that Tennessee teachers have received a pay raise, with $97 million promised for raises last year.
Education in Tennessee received an overall budget increase of $170 million last year.