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Tennessee falls behind in study for best states for teachers

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Posted at 4:24 PM, Oct 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-03 00:07:18-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — When it comes to making the grade the state of Tennessee is falling behind in the classroom. A recent study published by WalletHub ranks the volunteer state at 41 for best states for teachers.

The study looks at several factors including job pressures, low pay and lack of mobility which forces many teachers to quit soon after they start. According to the National Education Association, about a fifth of all public-school teachers leave their positions within three years.

Also, when it comes to competition and opportunity the state is sitting at 43rd. Metro Nashville Education Association President, Amanda Kail says the study sounds about right.

"I’m not surprised, I think there’s a couple of things going on there that Tennessee has falling behind on really making this a place where teachers can do their jobs and do them effectively," said Kail.

Kail was a MNPS teacher for ten years before becoming president of the local teacher's union. Kail says in Nashville teacher pay, classroom funding and state testing are just a few areas where teachers feel weighed down.

"My hope is that it’s time that our state takes a good hard look at the path that it chosen and thinks about ways that will retain teachers and ultimately help our students to learn," said Kail.

Metro Nashville public school teachers and Sumner County teachers successfully rallied this year for teacher pay raises, but Kail says the fight is far from over.

"What we have is a plan to organize our teachers and to push back," said Kail.

Kail says the Red for Ed movement will continue this time to fight for fair evaluations and funding.