I wrote a post about teacher pay over at Strong Schools — a non-profit I co-founded to focus on school funding in Sumner County. On reflection, I thought it might be interesting to those following education issues in Nashville and surrounding counties.
The post takes a look at teacher pay in 11 middle Tennessee school systems (Nashville and systems directly around Nashville). I’ve written before about the problems Nashville has had recruiting and retaining teachers. More recently, MNPS has announced some budget challenges. TC Weber has more on the details of the MNPS budget.
The bottom line: Nashville is not exactly the “It City” for teachers in middle Tennessee when it comes to the best financial package for teachers.
Here’s the breakdown of teacher pay in those 11 middle Tennessee districts:
These figures represent average teacher salary as reported by the Tennessee Department of Education. Notice that Nashville is ranked 5th in average pay.
As part of the analysis, I also took a look at the issue of health insurance. That’s a significant benefit that can help overcome otherwise low pay. Here again, even with pay + insurance, Nashville ranks fifth:
So, new teachers considering a teaching career in the Nashville area have four options just outside of the city where they can earn better overall compensation. The problem with compensation is compounded by a rapidly rising cost of living, pricing many teachers out of being able to live in Nashville.
Oh, and it is tough to the “It City” for teachers when other cities are already doing a much better job in terms of teacher pay.
Anyway, Nashville has a half billion dollar convention center that is very nice and will soon invest in a soccer stadium, which I’m sure will be awesome. Somehow, the city can’t figure out how to adequately compensate educators or even provide safe drinking water and lunch to students.
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