The governor’s budget proposal includes nearly $170 million for K-12 education, including:
- $100 million dollars for increasing teacher salaries, which amounts to a four percent pool that local education associations (LEAs) will have available as they make local decisions to increase teacher pay;
- Nearly $44 million to fully fund the Basic Education Program; and
- $5 million to create the Educators’ Liability Trust Fund to offer liability insurance to Tennessee teachers at no cost to them.
Notable higher education investments include:
- $260 million for capital projects, including new science facilities at Jackson State Community College and the University of Tennessee, nearly $25 million for improvements to colleges of applied technology across the state and funding for a fine arts classroom building at East Tennessee State University;
- $25 million to fully fund the Complete College Act formula; and
- $10 million for need-based scholarships for students;
The budget also includes specific workforce development investments geared to the governor’s Drive to 55 effort including:
- $2.5 million for statewide outreach efforts geared toward adult students, technical assistance to local communities that are finding ways to support adult learners, and a one-stop portal for adults;
- $2.5 million to support the success of the SAILS (Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support) program which address remediation in high school;
- $1.5 million to provide last dollar scholarships to adults with some post-secondary credit to attend community college;
- $1 million to establish competitive grants to 2-year and 4-year institutions to develop initiatives specifically designed for veterans; and
- $400,000 to establish the Tennessee Promise Bridge Program, which will bring first-generation college students to campus prior to fall enrollment, which is one more step in making sure they have the best chance possible to succeed.