Gov. Lee supportive of K-12 teacher pay increase, but amount in question


One of the items brought up in Governor Bill Lee’s state government budget hearings this week is whether or not there will be a K-12 teacher pay increase.  

It’s an annual question for those who teach Tennessee’s nearly one million K-12 students. The new governor is supportive but is not ready to pledge an amount for a pay increase 

“We will obviously invest in the classroom and that includes teachers,” Governor Lee told reporters after hearing the budget presentation from the interim commissioner Lyle Ailshie of the Tennessee Department of Education. 

The governor then added, “I don’t want to commit to things until we have the full…download of information.” 

Ailshie recommended a $46 million increase to the education department’s more than $6 billion budget. 

That proposed increase would cover things like education inflationary costs statewide, but the interim education commissioner told Governor Lee it did not address teacher pay compensation, “only the operations part” of the budget.” 

The K-12 budget puzzle for the new governor will be revealed March 4th in his State of the State address covering the entire budget for Tennessee government. 

Other areas vying for more funds are continued school security upgrades and implementing the Lee campaign promise on more vocational and technical training. 

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