Published Online: January 17, 2012
Published in Print: January 18, 2012, as Plan on Teacher Pay Slammed by Union

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Plan on Teacher Pay Slammed by Union

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Gov. Bill Haslam's plan to free schools from a state-mandated teacher-pay schedule is drawing fire from the state's largest teachers' group.

Tennessee Education Association President Gera Summerford called the proposal, unveiled last week, a "blatant attack on Tennessee's public schools."

The proposal, she said, "unfairly ties teacher pay to an evaluation system that has not been proven valid or reliable and to a data system that does not have a defined process for correcting inaccuracies."

When unveiling his package of bills for this year's annual legislative session, Gov. Haslam said he wants state lawmakers to "eliminate outdated requirements of state and local salary schedules and give districts flexibility to set parameters themselves based on what they want to reward."

Current pay schedules are based on years of service and degrees.

State education Commissioner Kevin Huffman said he thinks some districts will want to pay more money to teachers who perform at a higher level.

Last year, Mr. Haslam dramatically changed teacher-tenure laws, tying the process of obtaining and maintaining tenure to student achievement. Republican lawmakers also abolished collective bargaining.

Vol. 31, Issue 17, Page 5

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