Teachers march for payraise, school board asks for $76 million at city budget hearing

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Metro teachers dressed in red and marched through downtown Thursday afternoon, calling for a ten percent pay raise. 

Teachers say Mayor Briley’s proposed three-percent increase isn’t enough. 

“People should be compensated for the work that they do,” said teaching assistant Esi Akyere Snodgrass. 

“Teachers can’t afford to live in our area so we constantly have teachers leaving the district,” said teacher Michele Sheriff. 

Their last stop was the city’s budget hearing. 

The school board asked for $76 million to allow for a ten percent pay raise, along with money for textbooks and pay raises for school bus drivers.

“They’re pouring in, they’re investing in our students,” said Dr. Adrienne Battle, interim director of Metro Schools. “We definitely want to invest in them as well.” 

Council members agreed that teachers need more. 

“They are the front line that we have to fund,” said Council Member Steve Glover. “Frankly, we’ve done a pretty lousy job of it.” 

Some council members want to make sure any extra funding would go directly to teachers.

“We do seem to be very top heavy with top-heavy salaries,” said Council Member Kathleen Murphy. 

“One of my concerns is we pass a budget, we find money, we put it in the budget and then it doesn’t actually get passed along to the teachers,” Murphy said. 

Council members vote on the budget in June. 

Until then, the school board says it will keep pushing.

“Our teachers deserve to be adequately compensated,” Dr. Battle said.

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