TREND Spring 2020 - Page 29

is lost every time a teacher has to deal with discipline issues. Some students need attention and intervention beyond the scope of what a classroom teacher can provide. It is imperative that a school and district adopt policies that support effective classroom management as well as instruction for all students. Districts must have policies in place that protect all students’ right to learn. in average classroom salaries in fiscal years 2016, 2017, and 2018 through the Instructional Salaries and Wages category of the Basic Education Program (BEP). More than $300 million in new, recurring state dollars was appropriated. Unfortunately, as most Tennessee teachers recognized, those dollars did not actually end up in teacher pockets. We must support our teachers and make sure the dollars allocated to their salaries Bad school culture is a barrier to student learning and quality teaching. To be clear, student discipline is a serious issue and it must be addressed, both at the state and local level. Any assault that causes an injury to students or teachers should be a police matter. One possible policy is better tracking of time an educator spends on discipline issues. For example, do parents have the right to know if one student disrupts their own child’s education so frequently that their child loses instruction time? We need to document all discipline incidents so corrective courses of action can be taken at the building level, district level, and state level. We should work to reduce unnecessary suspensions and expulsions in our schools by looking at this data on a regular basis and providing better training for all staff. The Comptroller’s Office of Research and Education Accountability (OREA) proved through research that there was a slightly more than 6 percent increase total reach them as policymakers intended. This was addressed in Tennessee through subsequent legislation in 2019. We know that many teachers still struggle to support their own families, particularly in places where the cost of living is higher than average. Salaries must be a priority. Increasing student achievement takes adequate resources, as well as focus and collaboration to address school culture, student discipline, and teacher salaries. Teachers need the support of their administrators, their district, and the state. If we want to see increased student achievement and student learning, it is paramount that the state and districts work to address issues together. Immediate teacher recruitment and retention efforts will be largely determined by the success or failure on these issues, particularly in chronically hard-to-staff schools.