Professional Educators of TN Focusing on Teacher Salaries, School Safety and a Lack of Federal Dollars

Feb 13, 2023 at 11:29 am by WGNS News

In education news that impacts our local schools, JC Bowman, Executive Director of the Professional Educators of Tennessee, points to 3 Issues that dominated discussions last week that will impact Rutherford County and Tennessee Schools: Teacher Salaries, School Safety, and possibly rejecting Federal money for K-12 Education in Tennessee…

Bowman Highlighted:  

  • Teacher Salaries: Governor Bill Lee has $125 million budgeted for teacher salaries. This is roughly $1700 per full-time teacher or a 4% raise.  Governor Lee wants to see starting salaries in Tennessee when he leaves office rise to $50,000. Compensation is critical to recruiting and retaining effective educators in our classrooms. 
  • School Safety: Tennessee has made school security a priority. 487 schools that didn’t have an SRO according to state data. Having an on-site law enforcement officer who could provide an immediate response to any school-related emergency could be the difference between life and death, with zero wait time.
  • No Federal Dollars?  Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton has suggested that Tennessee reject Federal Money for K-12 Education in Tennessee.  Leaving our tax dollars on the table does not seem attractive. However, we have surrendered too much control of education in Tennessee for federal dollars and bad policy directives. The debate will be intense.

Bowman told WGNS News on Friday while he regularly meets with legislators on education issues, he plans to request a meeting with Speaker Sexton to ensure real educators are included in the federal money discussion.


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