A Little Less Conversation… A Lot More Spending

August 25, 2021 1:52PM

Today, the Beacon Center released a new report shining a light on how the state of Tennessee spends tax dollars on education. The report examines the ways Tennessee is currently spending money and where improvement is needed.

Here are some of the takeaways of the report:

-In Tennessee, only 53% of educational funding makes it into the classroom, 7% below the national average.

-Since 2012, after inflation, the average teacher’s salary has actually decreased by 1.5% while the average superintendent’s salary has grown by 8.3%.

-Tennessee taxpayer investment in K-12 education has grown and now sits at nearly $11 billion, yet the percentage of money that makes it into the classroom continues to shrink.

-Since our last report in 2018, administrative spending has increased by a whopping 13.5% while total spending has only increased by 3%.

-Tennessee taxpayers spend $11,391 per student. That number is five times more than surveys show school parents believe is spent.

Beacon Center Research Associate and co-author of the report Jason Edmonds stated, “There is a lot to be desired when it comes to how the state of Tennessee is spending our tax dollars on education. While we keep hearing how education is underfunded, the real issue right now is that the money isn’t making it into the classroom. It’s unacceptable that only 53% of the $11 billion Tennessee spends on education makes it into the classroom, a figure that is nearly 7% lower than the national average. We continue to spend more and more on administration and systems rather than funding students and teachers.”