Image Credit: capitol.tn.gov
The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
Legislation that would increase the annual base salary for teachers in Tennessee passed the House Finance, Ways, and Means Committee and will soon head to the House Floor for a vote.
House Bill 0329 (HB0329), sponsored by Representative William Lamberth (R-Portland-District 44), was discussed in the committee’s April 11th meeting.
The bill was presented by Representative Debra Moody (R-Covington-District 81). Moody noted that the salary would reach $50,000 by the ’26-’27 school year.
HB0329 is a caption bill, with an amendment that “makes the bill.” The amendment not only addressed increasing teacher’s wages but also addressed withholdings.
Section 2 of the amendment which was sponsored by Rep. Mark White (R-Memphis-District 83) sought to eliminate automatic withdrawals taken from teacher’s paychecks as stated in section 2b:
(b) Notwithstanding chapter 5, part 6 of this title, an LEA shall not deduct dues
from the wages of the LEA’s employees for a professional employees’ organization, including, but not limited to, a professional employees’ organization that is affiliated with a labor organization exempt under 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(5).
The amendment, however, did not forbid teachers from voluntarily remitting dues to professional employees’ organizations as outlined in section 2c:
(c) This section does not prohibit an employee of an LEA from personally and
voluntarily remitting dues to a professional employees’ organization.
Basically, the amendment would have stopped taxpayer funded collection of teacher union dues directly from teacher’s paychecks, instead giving each teacher the option to send dues rather than automatic deduction.
However. Rep. Sam Whitson (R-Franklin-District 65) introduced another amendment to remove all of the withholding language found in Amendment 1, Section 2, thereby altering the bill to only address the salary increase for teachers.
Whitson stated that he felt the withholding aspect of the legislation should be placed on a separate bill.
Whitson’s amendment passed by voice vote.
With no further discussion, a voice vote was taken on the bill as amended. Ayes prevailed with no legislators asking to be recorded as voting no.
The bill will now move on to the Calendar to be heard and voted on in the House chamber. The companion Senate Bill 0281 (SB0281) passed the Senate on March 30th.
About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com