So Karl Dean says he will fully fund education if he becomes governor. Mr. Dean was mayor of Metro Nashville for eight years. Nashville spends $11,946 per student on education, which is 30 percent more than the Tennessee average ($9,105).
One would think Nashville would be one of the highest rated school districts in the state. Oops, actually despite spending almost $3,000 more per student, Metro is ranked #61 in the rankings of school districts.
And the other predominantly Democrat district in the state, Shelby County, is even worse. They spend $11,221 per student and rank #103 in the state.
Those Democrats sure support education.
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Mr. Douglas Jones doesn't cite the source or the methodology of these rankings, which makes it hard to give them much credit. What we do know is that Mayor Dean increased Metro Nashville Public Schools' operating budget 37 percent over eight years, despite the Great Recession and a historic, devastating flood that forced many areas of government to take substantial cuts during his tenure. He and the Metro Council invested more than $620 million in capital projects for schools and raised starting teacher pay from 30th in the state to third. Education was always Mayor Dean's top priority, and it will be the same when he's elected governor.
Urban school districts like Nashville, Memphis and Chattanooga face unique challenges, but Mayor Dean is determined to help them and their suburban and rural counterparts do a better job of teaching and training the young people who will be our future leaders. Bill Lee, on the other hand, has expressed support for vouchers, which would take money out of public schools and transfer it to private schools - a recipe for disaster that goes directly against the shared commitment to public education that America is built on.