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Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam Proposes $400 Million Education Plan

As if President Barack Obama’s recently rumored $4 billion EdTech plan wasn’t enough, Tennessee governor Bill Haslam is proposing his own $400 million plan that is supposed to benefit K-12 education, without raising taxes.

The money will go towards increases in teacher pay, technology, literacy programs and high-need student populations, according to Chalkbeat Tennessee.

“This budget proposal includes the largest investment in K-12 education in Tennessee’s history without a tax increase,” said Haslam, adding that an investment in education will save the state money in the long run, according to the report.

“A more educated population will spend less money on health care. Less money on incarceration. If we’re going to be about anything, it has to be about opportunity for all Tennessee students.”

Plans like these are not necessarily easy to carry out and are not necessarily going to be carried out in the way that it has been proposed. While it would be very hard to see how this plan can be pulled off without raising taxes, it’s very interesting to see government officials standing up for education. What’s even more exciting for educators is that the proposal also features a 5.6 percent boost in allocations for teacher’s salaries.

“He also proposed adding $40 million to address specific components of the state’s Basic Education Program, or BEP, which decides how much state funding each school district receives,” according to the report.

“Specifically, the governor wants to add $15 million to technology, $14 million for English language learner programs, and $5 million for special education. Haslam also committed to paying for all 12 months of teachers’ health insurance. Currently, the state only funds 11 months.”

The heavy focus on spending for education seems to be a unanimous mission among government leaders but it is in no way an easy task. It all certainly sounds simple enough but the proof will be in the execution of the proposals.

Read the full story.

Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor

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