Nashville cannot compete for great new teachers.
Metro Schools is not the easiest place to teach. It’s a large, urban district – the second largest in Tennessee – and brings all of the challenges that come with that. On top of that, 29 other districts in our state pay new teachers more money.
Put yourself in that position. If you were a fresh college graduate looking for a job, which would you choose? Nashville? Or making more money in the less complicated districts in Franklin, Lebanon or Murfreesboro?
We have the opportunity to change that right now. The proposal before the Metro Council is to raise Metro’s starting teacher salary to $40,000. That moves us from a dismal 30th in starting teacher pay in Tennessee to 3rd – the spot this city needs and deserves.
This makes us more competitive in attracting great teachers right out of college. We can compete with other districts trying to hire them and attract more applicants, allowing us to choose the very best of the best.
Once here those new teachers will want to stay. They’ll stay because of our strong professional development, our exceptional principals, our commitment to technology, our leadership pipeline, our Master’s partnership with Vanderbilt University, our innovative practices (like Jere Baxter’s teacher-led school model), and on and on and on.
Once here they’ll help us further our successes. We have so many exceptional teachers in Metro Schools who have helped bring us this far. To keep our teaching force strong, we must bring more exceptional teachers to our growing district all the time.
We can bring them here by being competitive. 30th place is not competitive; 3rd place is.
Under this plan all teachers would see pay raises. All teachers could reach the top level of salary in just 15 years. The only Tennessee districts paying more would be Memphis and Shelby County.
Now where would you choose to teach?