State’s revenue surplus stuffed under mattresses, teachers, schools left behind
As I read through Tennessee’s latest revenue update, I can’t help but think that state leaders are acting like a “broke dad” when all the evidence points to the opposite.
So far this year, Tennessee has taken in $1.2 billion MORE than was estimated.
On the low end, it seems likely that the state will have a $2 billion surplus THIS YEAR when all is said and done.
THIS KEEPS HAPPENING
As I noted in The Education Report, Tennessee has a “broke dad” mentality.
Let me put it this way: You’re a parent. You have a paid for house, two paid for cars, and enough money in the bank that you can NOT work for a year and still cover basic expenses.
Is that the time when you tell your family that you will all be moving into a car and sleeping in the parking lot of a nearby park?
On a range of issues – from the DCS crisis to third grade retention to teacher compensation, Tennessee policymakers are refusing to invest the revenue provided by taxpayers.
A recent report indicated that only 25% of Tennessee teachers earn $60,000 or more a year.
Here’s an idea: Make the starting pay for Tennessee’s teachers $60,000.
Do it THIS YEAR.
The state can afford it.
In fact, given the teacher shortage, the state really can’t afford not to do it.
Unless, that is, the state is hurtling toward full privatization of public schools and figures public K-12 teacher salaries won’t be the state’s worry soon.
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