By Scott Robertson
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee gave an almost-verbatim reading of his Feb. 3 State of the State address Feb. 6 at the Millennium Center in Johnson City. Saying the point of giving the address in each of the state’s Grand Divisions (he is scheduled to deliver much the same address in Jackson tomorrow) was not to say different things to different people, but to bring a unified message home to all of Tennessee, Lee also deadpanned, “to be honest, the state of the state has not changed that much in three days.”
Lee said his proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year includes the largest investment in K-12 teacher salaries in Tennessee history, as well as a series of initiatives designed to ensure that Tennessee is recruiting, retaining and training the best teachers in America. Lee also announced legislative and budgetary priorities designed to build a comprehensive approach to advancing literacy across the state, with emphasis on additional teacher training and development.
“We will do whatever it takes to make Tennessee the best state in America to be a student,” Lee said, “and that means making Tennessee the best state in America to be a teacher. That means better pay, as we’ve said, but it also means better training and professional support, so that our teachers can perform at the top of their trade.”