What Matters? Money!

While some Tennessee lawmakers are pushing for a significant new investment in our state’s schools, new evidence suggests that a cash infusion is just what schools need to retain teachers and improve student outcomes.

Here’s the breakdown from Matt Barnum:

This tracks with a post I shared recently from We Are Teachers noting that a boost to teacher pay has a long-term impact on student achievement:

When teachers get paid more, students do better. In one study, a 10% increase in teacher pay was estimated to produce a 5 to 10% increase in student performance. Teacher pay also has long-term benefits for students. A 10% increase in per-pupil spending for each of the 12 years of education results in students completing more education, having 7% higher wages, and having a reduced rate of adult poverty. These benefits are even greater for families who are in poverty.

Tennessee needs $500 million just to properly staff schools — and that’s just teachers. We need more to add the proper number of counselors, nurses, and other key support staff.

Our teachers need a raise — Tennessee teachers earn about $2400 less than they did back in 2009 when salaries are adjusted for inflation.

This new round of research backs up what those on the front lines of public education will tell you: Money matters. It matters a lot.

While Gov. Lee and his legislative allies push failed charter solutions and sketchy voucher plans, our public schools are starving for support.

For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport

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