Tag Archives: growth

Report Critiques Growth in TN School Administrators

Tennessee teachers could have gotten annual raises of $8,367 over an almost two-decade period, if school boards had curbed growth in the number of administrators they employ, says TNReport.
That’s the message in a new report by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, based in Indianapolis.
The bump represents a 17.8 percent increase in pay on the $47,000 salary a typical Tennessee teacher takes home.
Using student population as the benchmark, the foundation examined growth in the central offices in school districts across America, from 1992 to 2009.
The number of non-teaching staff jumped 46 percent nationally, compared to a 17 percent increase in students – or less than half the rate of growth in the administrative ranks.
Tennessee closely followed the national trend line, with administrators and staff increasing 49 percent, compared to a 17 percent increase in students.
“As the dramatic growth of non-teaching staff in public schools shows, throwing more money at education is not the answer,” said Justin Owen, with the free-market Beacon Center in Nashville. The Beacon Center works with the Friedman Foundation to promote school choice.
….Tennessee would have realized more than $543.2 million in savings annually. Nationally, the figure was more than $24.2 billion annually.
To derive the teacher raises estimate, the foundation took the $543.2 million in savings, divided by the number of teachers in the state in 2009.

Governor Says TennCare Will Eat State’s Revenue Growth in Next Budget

Gov. Bill Haslam says he expects to have about $369 million in new revenues for his proposed 2013-14 budget, but expected cost increases in TennCare will swallow most of the money, reports the Chattanooga TFP
That will put pressure on him and lawmakers to look at cuts elsewhere to pay for increases in key areas ranging from education to prisons, the Republican governor warned last week.
Of the expected new revenue, $350 million — or 95 percent — is going to TennCare — the Republican said.
“You can’t do anything [else]. I mean, you can’t do anything in higher education. You can’t give anybody a raise. … It’s literally sucking up all the money in state government, and we have to have a different approach to health care.”
…House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley, a former House Finance Committee chairman, is skeptical of the governor’s estimates.
“To say we have $369 million in new revenues before the State Funding Board meets, that’s kind of hard to figure,” Fitzhugh said.
The funding board, which sets ranges for revenue growth estimates, will meet this week. Haslam spokesman David Smith said $369 million is the funding board’s preliminary estimate.
Fitzhugh said Republican officials earlier this year refused to acknowledge much-larger-than-anticipated revenue increases for the 2012 fiscal year that ended June 30.
And so far this year, revenues were already $72.9 million higher than projected in the $31.5 billion state budget.
“I think it’s a bit premature to say how much we got there and that 95 percent of it is going to be consumed by TennCare,” Fitzhugh said.

Club for Growth Faults Fleischmann on Deficit-Cutting Votes

Weston Wamp said a new study validates his charge that U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann hasn’t honored a campaign pledge to save taxpayer cash, reports the Chattanooga Times-Free Press.
“Mr. Fleischmann’s record shows that his walk does not line up with his talk,” Wamp said Thursday in a news release. “When he had a chance to make a difference and cut spending, he couldn’t pull the trigger.”
Wamp, who along with two others is challenging Fleischmann in Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District Republican primary, was remarking on a study released by the Washington, D.C.-based Club for Growth. The study tracked House votes on this year’s 25 proposed amendments to appropriations bills that would have slashed spending and put the savings toward debt reduction — something Fleischmann claims to attempt every time he visits the House floor.
Not so, according to the study. Fleischmann supported 11 of 25 amendments overall, scoring 44 percent and finishing last among seven House Republicans from Tennessee.
The average Republican scored 59 percent.
Fleischmann defended his voting record.
“Most of these votes would have adversely impacted Oak Ridge [Tenn.], and I have said from day one … that the ongoing national security and nuclear energy work at Oak Ridge is a top priority of mine,” Fleischmann said in a email sent by campaign spokesman Jordan Powell.
In his release, Wamp, the 25-year-old son of former U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, did not say whether he would have supported all the appropriations amendments, but in the past he has praised his father’s support for Oak Ridge and pledged to continue that tradition.


Note: The Wamp release is below.

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Government Jobs Grew by 24,100 in TN During Past Decade

Tennessee’s government payroll added 24,100 jobs from April 2001 to April 2011, enough to rank the state 16th in the nation for government job growth over the past decade, reports the Memphis Business Journal.
Tennessee had a total of 434,000 government workers last month, according to an On Numbers study of employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Tennessee’s government was adding jobs while its private sector was shrinking.
As a previous On Numbers analysis shows, Tennessee lost 99,000 private-sector jobs in the same period, ranking the state 43rd for job growth. But the government growth trend appears to be changing. The Volunteer State shed 5,500 government workers in the past year, from April 2010 to April 2011, ranking 35th for government jobs in that period.