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Haslam defends education commissioner under fire

By news admin

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam has reiterated his support for the state's education commissioner, who has come under fire for changes to how teachers are paid.

At least two Facebook pages have been created calling for Kevin Huffman's ouster as well as an online petition that has hundreds of signatures.

The state Board of Education approved the changes last month after supporters and opponents argued for nearly two hours over the matter. The measure changes the minimum teacher salary schedule, reduces steps in salary increases from 21 to four and eliminates incentives for doctorate degrees and post-master's training.

Haslam told reporters on Monday that the changes are needed to further education reform in the state, and that if he were to hire an education commissioner again today, it would be Huffman.