Head of NEA supports higher Tennessee teacher pay

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The head of the National Education Association says she supports increased pay for Tennessee teachers because it’s necessary for their livelihood.

Lily Eskelsen Garcia was in Nashville on Wednesday to talk with educators and spoke to The Associated Press after touring a local elementary school.

The Tennessee Education Association, the state’s largest teachers’ union, is calling on Gov. Bill Haslam to increase teachers’ pay as much as 11.3 percent. They’re asking for 6 percent for next year, and the rest to be phased in over two to three years.

While teacher salaries vary nationally, Garcia acknowledged Tennessee teachers aren’t being paid enough and that they need more money to take care of their families, as well as pay off college loans they used to get into the profession.