Mayor John Cooper

NASHVILLE, TN — Mayor John Cooper today announced that the Mayor’s Office, in partnership with the Nashville Public Education Foundation and Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS), is commissioning an expert compensation study of teacher compensation in Nashville-Davidson County. The study will be conducted by the ERS Group, one of a handful of national consulting firms with the expertise necessary to conduct a comprehensive teacher compensation study.

“Ensuring that our children have excellent teachers is the single most important thing we can do to improve education,” said Mayor Cooper. “This study will help us understand how we can better attract and retain teachers through the creation and implementation of a strategic long-term compensation strategy. It will also develop concrete options for the school board and Dr. Battle to consider as we work together to improve teacher pay and address the problems of the current teacher pay schedule.”

“Our pay scale has not kept pace with the rising cost of living in Nashville, making it more difficult to recruit or retain great teachers and staff,” said Dr. Adrienne Battle. “I’m grateful for Mayor Cooper’s attention to this issue and look forward to reviewing the results of this study.”

Teachers and MNPS staff currently move through a 28-step pay schedule as they advance in their teaching careers. However, the current pay schedule does not provide all teachers with regular pay increases. It also caps teacher pay at low compensation levels relative to comparable public school systems. Under the current compensation design, an MNPS teacher with a master’s degree is only eligible to earn $66,412 after 27 years of employment in the school system.

The study will be concluded in early 2020, in time to inform the budget request process. It will give the Mayor’s Office, the MNPS school board, the Metro Council, and the public insight into the causes of our teacher attraction and retention challenges. This study will present policymakers, the public, and our educators with the analysis they need to develop an effective approach to compensation.

“Providing our educators with the pay structure they deserve is a key element to giving our students an outstanding education,” added Mayor Cooper. “We all agree that our teachers deserve a pay raise. The common goal of my administration and MNPS in initiating this study is to look beyond a quick fix and create a lasting solution that will outlast even today’s generation of young minds.”