Looking for something?

Gov. Bill Haslam’s Monthly Column


September 2016


Tennessee is the fastest improving state in the country since 2011 thanks to the hard work of our teachers and students, and we’ve followed up the success we’re seeing in the classroom by making record investments in our schools, including the largest investment ever without a tax increase in this year’s budget.


We are asking more of our teachers and students, and they are delivering in a big way.


Since we came into office in 2011, we have made a point to visit schools and educators across the state to keep the lines of communication open between classrooms and the Capitol.


Last year, as part of this effort, we named the Governor’s Teacher Cabinet, a group of outstanding teachers from across the state come to the Capitol in Nashville quarterly and provide real-time information from the classroom and feedback on policy considerations.


This year I’m excited to visit members of the Teacher Cabinet in their classrooms across the state.


So far our “Capitol to the Classroom” visits have taken us to Winridge Elementary School in Memphis, where Teacher Cabinet member and 2015 Tennessee Teacher of the Year Karen Vogelsang teaches third grade, and South Clinton Elementary School in Clinton, where Teacher Cabinet member Abbey Kidwell teaches fourth grade.


All of this comes at a time when Tennessee is the fastest improving state in the nation since 2011, according to the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), commonly known as the “Nation’s Report Card.” Tennessee also rose to the top half of states in fourth grade math, ranking 25th – the first time Tennessee has ever ranked in the top half of states in any subject or grade.


It also comes as we are making record investments in our schools. Our current budget includes $258 million for K-12 education, which is the largest investment without a tax increase in Tennessee’s history, including $100 million for teacher salaries.


Our visits across Tennessee continue, and we look forward to being in some of Tennessee’s best classrooms to learn more about what makes them successful and what we can do to support our teachers and continue strengthening education in our state.

Writing center coming to Union in 2017