In Governor Bill Lee’s initial budget address, he proposed a 4% adjustment to the BEP salary component (effectively a 2% raise for teachers). Now, in the face of the coronavirus threat, his revised budget adjusts that to a 2% increase. That effectively means most teachers will see a raise of less than 1% or, in many cases, no raise at all.
Here’s the budget amendment.
It reduces the BEP inflationary adjustment and cuts in half the initial proposed increase in the teacher salary component. It also completely deletes the charter school slush fund.
Also, according to Chalkbeat, the budget proposal retains $37 million to fund the first year of Lee’s voucher scheme:
Lee retained $37 million for education savings accounts, a controversial program set to start this fall to let eligible families in Memphis and Nashville use taxpayer money to pay for private school tuition.
Meanwhile, the proposal adds significantly to the Rainy Day fund.
Yes, instead of using the state’s billions in reserves to keep schools and other services moving forward, this budget proposal actually ADDS to the rainy day fund while cutting improvements to teacher pay.
It’s up to the General Assembly to approve this measure, of course, but there’s little indication Lee’s moves will be challenged.
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