Last night, the Williamson County School Board unanimously approved a mid-year pay raise for teachers and staff. If approved by the County Commission, teachers will receive a 3% raise and hourly staff will see a $1/hour pay increase, effective January 31st. The unusual move of raising pay for teachers and staff mid-year is happening because of severe teacher and staff shortages. The district currently has 71 teaching openings.
Williamson Strong live-tweeted the meeting and provided the key stats:
The move in Williamson County comes as districts across the state struggle with teacher retention issues exacerbated by the pandemic.
The move is also happening while Gov. Bill Lee and state policymakers examine Tennessee’s school funding formula. So far, that has not resulted in a serious discussion about dramatically raising teacher pay. In fact, this story highlights the level of priority placed on teacher pay in the state:
The current state minimum salary schedule for teachers sets the minimum salary for a Tennessee teacher at $38,000.
A Tennessee teacher with a bachelor’s degree would need to work for 10 years in order to achieve a mandated minimum salary above $44,000.
Now, however, brand new correctional officers will earn more than teachers with 10 years of experience. Yes, corrections officers deserve a raise.
It will be interesting to see what districts across the state do in 2022-23 and beyond to improve salary and working conditions for teachers and if the state’s new funding formula provides any help in this arena.
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