Tennessee teachers are starting 2015 curious to know if it will be a second year without a pay raise. So far, state officials haven’t made any more promises.
WPLN pressed outgoing education commissioner Kevin Huffman when he didn’t even mention teacher salaries in his annual budget presentation.
“All the salary stuff – state employee salary and teacher salary – will be done through the governor’s budget release,” Huffman said.
His replacement – incoming education commissioner Candice McQueen – says in a statement that she “shares Governor Bill Haslam’s desire to raise teacher salaries and looks forward to working with him on this commitment.”
More than a year ago, Haslam pledged to make the state the fastest improving in the nation. Then when tax revenues were looking tight, he cancelled the planned pay bump.
The Tennessee Education Association has suggested a six percent raise to make up for last year. Haslam says that’s probably not necessary to still reach his goal of fastest-improving.
“What gets lost in there is we were one of the few states, in our first three budgets, who actually did give teachers raises,” Haslam said in an interview with WPLN.
Haslam’s budget proposal will be released in the coming weeks, in tandem with his annual State of the State address.