Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023

Gov. Bill signs TN bill requiring teachers make at least $50,000 per year by 2027

 WBIR Staff

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee lawmakers in the House of Representatives and Senate passed a bill meant to guarantee teachers make at least $50,000 per year by the 2026-2027 school year. On May 18, Governor Bill Lee signed the bill into law.

The bill, HB 0329, was introduced by Representative William Lamberth (R – Portland). It passed the Senate in a 25-6 vote, and it passed the House in a 90-8 vote. It requires teacher salaries gradually increase year by year.

The House version of the bill did not prohibit schools from deducting membership dues from a professional organization from their income. The Senate version included that prohibition.

The Senate version ultimately passed, and Gov. Lee signed it.

Rep. Scott Cepicky (R – Culleoka) spoke against removing the prohibition, emphasizing that the House’s financial committee would have removed it if the change was significant.

Rep. Charlie Baum (R – Murfreesboro) spoke for it, saying that the pay increase and prohibition were two different issues and should not be on the same bill.

The year-by-year minimum yearly income requirements are listed below.

  • $42,000 for the 2023/2024 school year
  • $44,000 for the 2024/2025 school year
  • $47,000 for the 2025/2026 school year
  • $50,000 for the 2026/2027 school year

Tennesseans for Student Success said that the pay raise would make the state a “top ten state in the nation for teacher pay.”

According to the bill’s fiscal note, lawmakers would need to pass a restriction of $125 million would be required in Tennessee’s base funding formula for teacher pay.

“Restricting the use of such funds for teachers’ salaries may lead to a shift in expenditures for some LEAs or additional permissive local expenditures for LEAs,” the fiscal note says.

It says mandatory local expenditures would increase by $106,142 for the fiscal year 2025-2026, and around $1.6 million in the fiscal year 2026-2027.

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