Metro training more new teachers thanks to tax increase - WSMV Channel 4

Metro training more new teachers thanks to tax increase

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Metro Nashville Public Schools is in the process of training hundreds of new teachers before the first day of classes Aug. 1.

The district could afford to hire many of the new teachers because of the 53-cent property tax increase Metro Council approved last month.

One of the new teachers, Kristen Kern, said she is excited to meet the students she will have in her classroom at Neely's Bend Middle School.

"I'm just excited to really get to know those kids and step in that first day and get started," she said.

But before she and the other teachers enter their classrooms, they are taking part in an intensive four-day training program.

The district said about 300 will take part in the training over the next two weeks, which is double the amount they trained last year.

With the help of the property tax increase, the district is adding nearly 100 teachers to keep up with growth. The tax increase is also helping pay higher salaries. New teachers in MNPS will now earn $40,000, which is up from $35,000.

Metro leaders said it has made a big difference.

"The pool has been strengthened by diversity. We're getting people from all across the country that are applying. We're getting people from other districts that are wanting to come here. So I think, overall, we're getting a much better applicant pool for $40,000," said Earl Wiman, Metro Schools human resources representative.

The extra pay is always a nice plus, but the new teachers said that wasn't the reason they chose Metro Schools.

"It does help, but the pay rate isn't why I decided to go into teaching. I chose to go into teaching, because it's something I feel passionate about," said new teacher Brenna Lloyd.

"It's a great thing, and I'm excited for the extra pay, of course, but that was not the deciding factor for me," Kern said.

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