April 18, 2016
In case you didn’t remember, or hadn’t started the process of filing, today is Tax Day. You still have a few hours to procrastinate! In that spirit, we thought we’d lead off this week’s note with some fun facts about Tennessee’s recently passed, balanced budget. After passing both the House and Senate, it awaits the Governor’s signature and we’re happy to share some fun education notes on this year’s budget.
– Investment in education. This budget includes the single largest investment in education in Tennessee – without a tax increase – in the state’s history. Overall funding for education is on the rise and we’re glad to report an increase in teacher salary is included in this year’s budget.
-More opportunities for success. You’ve heard us talk a lot about the value of the ACT to open more doors for student success. This year’s budget includes opportunity for Tennessee’s high school students to take the ACT again, free of charge, and improve their previous score. A strong ACT score, along with commitment in the classroom, helps our students broaden their opportunity for success after graduation.
– Fewer, Better tests. One of our four policy priorities is to reduce the number of unnecessary tests taken in classrooms around the state, and to support assessments that provide parents, teachers, and students with valuable information to improve student achievement. This budget includes a reduction in money allocated to administer locally-mandated assessments. Along with the passage of legislation this year like HB 1537, the bill to release questions and answers from each year’s previous TNReady assessment, eliminate two statewide tests, and call on local education authorities to reduce the number of tests they require of their teachers and students, Tennessee is leading the way in requiring fewer, but better tests.
We also wanted to make sure you knew our new website is live! We hope you’ll take a few minutes to hop over to www.tnsuccess.org, bookmark it, and use it often as a place to find valuable information on education in Tennessee. Don’t forget to check out the News section and find Press Releases you might have missed – including our announcement last week to spend heavily this year on an aggressive ground, air, and data operation to support the policies that have led Tennessee to become the fastest improving state in the nation in education.
As the 109th General Assembly winds down in the next few days, know we couldn’t do this work without you. Thank you for lending your voice for every Tennessee student!