MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tennessee historically has not spent enough on education, but officials are working to change that, according to Gov. Bill Haslam.
Haslam spoke to a crowd of Memphis educators and business leaders Monday night about the need for careful allocation of resources for education, The Commercial Appeal reported.
“Now if you’re an educator saying, ‘Well, you’re not putting enough money in’ … you’re right, as a state we historically have not put enough money — but we’re changing that,” Haslam said.
According to the governor, Tennessee is one of the top 10 states now seeing increased funding toward education.
“We have to do that if we’re going to compete. But we also have to expect outcomes for that,” Haslam stated.
Several school districts in Tennessee, including Shelby County Schools, are suing the state for what local officials have called a dramatic underfunding of kindergarten-through-12th-grade education.
Haslam’s budget this year included over $200 million of extra funding.
When asked about the validity of the suit, Haslam said “obviously anyone can sue over anything they want. But it’s kind of strange when we’re making historic investments in K-12 education; it feels like it sends the wrong message to do that.”
Haslam also outlined the problems that come with so few Tennessee students being ready for college, credited one of President Barack Obama’s education policies for national growth, and also criticized presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for not talking more about education.
Information from: The Commercial Appeal, http://www.commercialappeal.com