(DailyVantage.com) – This week, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed into law a bill that gives teachers the largest pay increase in the state’s history and ensures that union membership dues are not automatically deducted by school districts, the Chattanoogan reported.
With the “Teacher Paycheck Protection Act,” Tennessee will become one of the top ten states for teacher’s pay, raising the minimum salary to $50,000 a year by 2026, a significant bump in pay from 2019 when the minimum salary was $35,000.
Additionally, teachers and taxpayers in the state will be protected by ensuring that the school district does not automatically deduct union membership dues from teachers’ paychecks.
During the signing ceremony, Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson, the bill’s sponsor, said the Teacher Paycheck Protection Act will “enhance the quality” of Tennesee’s education system by helping to “attract and retain talented teachers.”
House Majority Leader, Republican William Lamberth, said investing in those who “guide, teach, and nurture” students will pay “big dividends down the road.” Lambert lauded Governor Lee and the General Assembly for prioritizing students and elevating teachers which he said will prove “transformative” for Tennessee.
Lamberth added that the historic pay raise will “create a pipeline of highly effective and talented” teachers.
Republican state Senator Bill Powers, who helped steer the legislation through the state Senate, said offering competitive salaries will enable the state to “recruit talented individuals” while mitigating any shortages in teachers.
Republican state Rep. Debra Moody described the Teacher Paycheck Protection Act as the largest pay increase for teachers in the state’s history that will also protect taxpayer dollars from being used to benefit teachers’ unions.
Earlier this month, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill that will prevent public union dues from being automatically deducted from paychecks, allowing union members to pay dues separately.
Several Florida teachers’ unions have sued the state, arguing that the law would place additional restrictions on union members.
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