Tennessee Leads!

 2020 ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Under Republican leadership, Tennessee is a better place to live, work and raise a family!

JOBS & ECONOMY

Under Republican leadership, Tennessee is open for business and ranks among the top states in the Southeast for drawing new jobs

  • Tennessee ranks #1 for Site-Readiness Programs and Energy Availability and Costs in Area Development’s Top State For Doing Business Rankings.
  • We rank #1 in small business job growth (Paychex 2019)
  • The state consistently ranks in the top 3 of states with best business climate in the U.S. (Business Facilities‘ 15th Annual Rankings Report, 2020) “Tennessee is a perennial contender for BF’s business climate crown, living up to the credo expressed on the TNECD website: “…high expectations, low debt and a pro-business regulatory environment.” The Volunteer State consistently sets a high bar in meeting all of the priorities of businesses evaluating locations in TN, whether it’s customized workforce training, pre-certified sites or lower industrial electricity costs.”
  • Ranked in top 2 states for the past 2 years for workforce development in the South Central Region. (Site Selection)
  • Tennessee’s Right to Work status and the overhaul of the state’s tort and workers compensation laws and have enhanced the state’s business-friendly environment, bringing in record new jobs and capital investment
    • This is evidenced by a study released last year by the American Legislative Exchange Council which credits the state's low tax rates and right-to-work labor policy for outperforming other states in economic growth during a decade of growth. (Tennessee was 7th fastest in the U.S.).
  • During 2020 Tennessee has landed 49 projects with company commitments to create 9,660 new jobs and invest $3.2 billion in private capital. ADD NEW ONES
  • A third of ECD’s 2020 projects are taking place in rural counties of the state
  • Highlights across the state:
    • Facebook will invest $800 million in a new data center in Gallatin, Sumner County which will employ 100 people
    • Amazon is building two new fulfillment centers which will create 1000 new jobs in Memphis, Shelby County and 1000 new jobs in Juliet, Wilson County
    • Tyson will expand and create 231 new jobs and invest $87.6 million in Union City, Obion County
    • TTiFloor Care will create 500 new jobs and invest $20 million through an expansion in Cookeville, Putnam County
    • LabConnect, Inc will create 211 new jobs and invest $8.7 million in Johnson City, Washington County
    • Agero Inc will create 900 new jobs and invest $2 million in Clarksville, Montgomery County
    • Southern Champion Tray is expanding its paperboard packaging operations in Chattanooga, Hamilton County, with the creation of 120 new jobs and $84.9 million investment
    • Minth Group will expand its automotive parts production operations with the creation of 254 new jobs and $87.4 million investment in Lewisburg, Marshall County
    • Adient will create 331 new jobs and invest $23.5 million in its Lexington, Henderson County automotive seating production facility

Even in the wake of COVID-19, under Republican leadership Tennessee continues to show consistent economic strength

  • Tennessee business leaders expect the state’s recovery the state’s economy to improve more quickly than the U.S. as a whole over the next year, according to a new survey of 1,000 business leaders across the state conducted by the Boyd Center at UTK
  • According to the Boyd Center survey, three out of four respondents said Tennessee is headed in the right direction, with them being particularly pleased with the quality of government leadership in Tennessee.
  • In April 2020, Tennessee’s unemployment rate hit a high of 15.5% due to the effects and response to the Pandemic. In July 2020, it was 9.5%--a 6 percentage point decrease from April 2020. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • The week of May 9th saw the highest number of continued unemployment claims with 325,095. Since the week of May 9th, there have been fewer continued unemployment claims in Tennessee for each consecutive week. The most recent week for which data is available, the week of August 8th had 208,810 continued claims. (Source: Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development)
  • Business applications in Tennessee were significantly up in the month of July. The week of Saturday July 18th saw the most business applications (2,530) for Tennessee since the U.S. Census Bureau started tracking this metric in 2006. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Weekly Business Formation Statistics)

FISCAL MANAGEMENT

Under Republican leadership, taxes remain low and Tennessee ranks top in the nation in fiscal management

  • Implemented a conservative fiscal strategy that has resulted in Tennessee being first in the nation in fiscal stability (S. News and World Report)
  • Maintained our AAA bond rating
  • NO Personal income tax on wages and salaries
  • Among least indebted states in the nation per capita
  • Tennessee ranks in the top 3 of states for best-funded pension plans (Pew Charitable Trusts 2019)
  • Tennessee is one of only five states without road debt
  • Ranked 3rd by Kiplinger on their list of most tax-friendly states (impact of state and local taxes)
  • Major tax cuts made since 2011
    • Reduced sales tax on food by nearly 30%;
    • Phasing out of Hall income tax which is on track for elimination in 2021;
    • Eliminated gift and inheritance taxes;
    • Eliminated the professional privilege tax ($400 annually) for 15 of the 22 professions which pay it; 
    • Cut taxes on manufacturing to enhance job creation;
    • Tossed the $6 million gym tax on smaller fitness facilities;
    • Reduced sales tax on fiber optic cable by $2.5 million;
    • Saved our agriculture industry professionals $750,000;
    • Slashed the $455,300 ammunition tax on law-abiding citizens; and
    • Annual Sales Tax Holiday in August enhanced this year so consumers may purchase clothing, school supplies, computers and other qualifying electronic devices without paying sale tax – Also had a sales tax weekend on retail restaurant food to help spur recovery due to Pandemic.
  • Made historic deposits to the Rainy Day Fund bringing the emergency fund to the highest level in state history to prepare the state to withstand economic downturns with Tennessee
  • Ranked among the top 10 states best prepared to survive economic downturns based on such measures as stabilization, emergency funds, economic strength and diversity, debt-to-income ratio, exports per capita, export diversity, deposits per capita, and state income tax rate
  • Our record of low taxes and low debt now position us to be the very best stewards of the people’s money

EDUCATION

Under Republican leadership, Tennessee is making great strides in education

K-12

  • Tennessee remains one of the fastest-improving state in the nation on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), across math, reading and science.
  • We’ve gone from the back of the pack in education results to being a state frequently cited as an innovator and a national leader.
  • Students are outpacing their peers across the country in their academic progress and showing that all students can grow and learn, regardless of their background, race, or socio-economic status.
  • Tennessee has overhauled teacher tenure, implemented rigorous academic standards, and expanded access to high-quality school options.
  • 5 million Tennesseans ages 18 and over have earned a high school degree or higher
  • Tennessee continues to see the highest high school graduation rates ever — 89.7 percent.
  • Since 2011 the high school graduation rate has risen by 4.2 percent.
  • School districts across Tennessee are making gains in student academic achievement
    • TNReady 2019 assessment results indicate that students across the state are performing better in almost all math subjects.
    • The TNReady scores also show that more than half the schools in Tennessee – 56 percent – improved their growth scores (TVAAS scores) from the previous year, with 41 percent of all schools earning a level 4 or 5 TVAAS rating which measures year-to-year growth.
  • The state’s average ACT score has reached an all-time high of 20.2, and with even more students taking the test.
  • Tennessee showed historic increases in the number of students taking and getting college credit for Advanced Placement courses, which supports a seamless transition into postsecondary.
  • While faced with financial adversities, Tennessee continues to invest in public education
    • Holding districts and schools harmless during the 2019-2020 school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic
    • Fully funding the BEP with an investment of $5,034,485,600
    • TN is one of very few states that did not cut state-level funding for K12 schools during the pandemic
  • K-12 Education funding in FY 20/21 budget totaled $6.6 billion, fully funding the BEP and adding $72 million to K-12 education including:
    • $10.6million into the BEP for teachers’ insurance
    • $50.3 million to address growth and inflation
    • $7.3 million for increased enrollment in Tennessee Early Intervention Services
  • Strategic investments to support districts, teachers, and students as schools reopen
    • Investing $155M out of Tennessee’s Coronavirus Relief Fund to support access and opportunity for K-12 students and their families, health and safety of our educators, and supports for our districts as they begin the year.
      • $50M in technology grants for schools, providing 250,000 additional devices
      • $15M in Wi-Fi supports for families, providing high-speed internet access to over 100,000 households in the state
      • $77M for teacher PPE kits, making Tennessee the only state in the country to date to provide PPE resources for all educators for the entire school year
        • These kits include masks, shields, gloves, disinfecting wipes, and hand sanitizer
      • $11M in school reopening grants for districts to support the implementation of local school reopening plans
  • Supports for Districts and Educators
    • Over 100 guidance documents between school closures in the spring and reopening toolkits and resources:
      • LEA Guide for Reopening Schools – extensive resource produced to provide an overview framework for districts to use as they begin planning for school reopening. It outlines 10+ different pathways that districts may want to take for school reopening, most of which prioritize in-person learning. 
      • 77+ Coronavirus school closure guidance documents
      • 25+ Reopening Toolkits and Templates– a series of topic-specific toolkits that provide checklists, best practices, reflective questions, and more intended to support effective and locally-driven planning for reopening.
      • Free professional development for all teachers on digital learningwith Trevecca. Over 19,000 teachers have registered.
      • Free PD for principals for leading well in the new COVID-19 environment. 550+ principals participated.
      • Supporting district recruiting to fill educator vacancies: 1000+ candidates shared with districts through TN Teacher Jobs Connection, TN Substitute Teacher Jobs Connection, TN Education Job Board 
    • CARES Act: Elementary and Secondary Education Emergency Relief Fund
      • $260M for K-12
        • State Portion: $26M or 10%
        • LEA Allocations: $234M
        • LEA allocations were determined by the relative share of the state’s Title I allocation
        • One-time relief funding to support district efforts to purchase technology, provide supplemental after school programs, addressing the unique needs of special populations, providing mental health services, or conducting other activities necessary to maintain the operation of services
      • IDEA Compensatory Services Grant
        • $5M in LEA allocations
        • Supporting districts in providing compensatory services and remediation for students with disabilities to address learning losses as a result of the COVID-19 school closures.
      • IDEA Technology Partnership Grant
        • $1M in partnership grants
        • Supporting districts in addressing the educational needs of their students with disabilities and associated technology needs

HIGHER EDUCATION

  • Under the Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect programs, ALL Tennesseans have access to higher education tuition-free. This is a model that is garnering attention nationwide.
    • Tennessee Reconnect enrolled 18,217 students in its first full year
    • Over 2,100 of these students earned an award in their first year, and many more remained enrolled in pursuit of a credential (Report here).
    • Tennessee Promise has now enrolled 5 cohorts of students- 88,486 Promise students as of Spring 2020. (Does not include Fall 2020 Data- cohort 6) (Report here).
  • The college-going rate has increased from 53.8 percent to 61.8 percent since 2007.
  • Tennessee implemented the Complete College Act and expanded statewide a successful pilot of the Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support (SAILS) program which helps ensure more high school graduates are coming to college prepared for the coursework.
  • Tennessee has had the lowest five years of tuition increases in the last 40 years—with all universities, community colleges and colleges of applied technology holding tuition flat for Tennessee undergraduates in 2020-21.
  • Over the last six years, the state has invested over $500M in new recurring funds to higher education, including over $170M to our universities and community colleges based on increased performance in the outcomes-based funding formula.
  • Tennessee also made significant investments in financial aid for students at public institutions in 2019
    • Tennessee: $2,271 per FTE
    • National average: $808 per FTE
    • Regional average: $986 per FTE
  • In fact, Tennessee now provides the highest financial aid per full-time student at public institutions in the Nation.
  • The state has continued to invest in Early Postsecondary Opportunities (EPSOs), with increases in the number of courses students can take with dual enrollment grants. There are also many dual enrollment courses now eligible for expanded grant funding through the Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE).
  • Six-year graduation rates have increased at both community colleges and universities over the past 5 years. (Factbook pg. 50)
  • The FY 20/21 Budget invests a total of $4.9 billion in Higher Education, adding $22.5 million in new funding including:
    • $4.4 million for the new Correctional Education Investment program to expand educational opportunities in correctional institutions
    • $1.2 million for MTSU/Meharry medication education student financial aid
    • $1 million for Veteran Reconnect grants;
    • $2 million for campus security enhancements
    • $1 million for TBR’s Mechatronics program
    • $500,000 to TTU Cybersecurity Research
    • Nearly $1.1 million for additional ETSU pediatric specialists and surgeons
    • Capital investment for higher education institutions totals $101.8 million

 

2019 ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Under Republican Leadership, Tennessee Continues to Lead the Nation

JOBS & ECONOMY

Under Republican leadership, the economy continues to thrive, as businesses grow and unemployment remains low

  • #1 in small business job growth. (Paychex Inc., 2019)
  • #1 Best Business Climate in the U.S. (Business Facilities‘ 15th Annual Rankings Report, 2019)
  • #1 for workforce development in the South Central Region. (Site Selection, Jan 2019)
  • Tennessee ranks #2 in the nation for advanced industry job growth.
  • From 2015-2019, Tennessee has received over 100,000 new job commitments.
  • Since Jan. 1, approximately 10,485 new jobs committments have been announced. (as of August 2019)
  • Unemployment remains near historic low levels — 3.5 percent as of June 2019.
  • As of August 2019, 90% of 2019’s job commitments are considered High Quality Job Commitments, and about 23% of current 2019 job commitments (43% of projects) will be located in rural TN.
  • More than 2.6 million Tennesseans are employed in the private sector.
  • According to the Secretary of State, new business filings increased 9 percent in the first quarter of 2019. Secretary Tre Hargett stated that 13,000 new entity filings were recorded, marking 30 consecutive quarters of positive year-over-year new business growth.
  • From 2015 to 2019, Tennessee has accumulated over $21.5 billion in capital through ECD projects.

FISCAL MANAGEMENT

Under Republican leadership, taxes remain low and Tennessee ranks top in the nation in fiscal management

  • Maintained our AAA bond rating
  • NO Personal income tax on wages and salaries
  • #1 state in the nation for fiscal stability (U.S. News and World Report, 2019)
  • Among least indebted states in the nation per capita
  • Tennessee is one of only five states without road debt
  • Cut $845 million in taxes since 2011
    • Reduced sales tax on food by nearly 30%
    • Phasing out of Hall income tax
    • Eliminated gift and inheritance taxes
    • Cut taxes on manufacturing to enhance job creation
  • Implemented a conservative fiscal strategy:
    • Cut more than $35.2 million in taxes as part of the fiscally responsible $38.6 billion FY 2019-2020 budget.
    • Eliminated the $22 million professional privilege tax.
    • Tossed the $6 million gym tax on smaller fitness facilities.
    • Reduced sales tax on fiber optic cable by $2.5 million.
    • Saved our agriculture industry professionals $750,000.
    • Slashed the $455,300 ammunition tax on law abiding citizens.
    • Reserved $15 million for additional tax cuts next year.
    • Invested $239 million into the state’s savings account (Rainy Day Fund), bringing its total to $1.1 billion.
  • The $38.6 billion balanced budget proposes state government maintains Tennessee’s sound fiscal practices by not taking on any new debt, continuing to reduce unnecessary spending through state government efficiencies, and putting a record investment in the state’s emergency savings account, better known as the Rainy Day Fund.
  • Historic deposit to the Rainy Day Fund of $225 million, bringing the emergency fund to the highest level in state history at $1.1 billion
  • Our record of low taxes and low debt now position us to be the very best stewards of the people’s money
  • State pooled investment fund at historic levels and surpassed a $12 billion balance. The active management of this fund by the TN Department of Treasury reduces the need to raise taxes in order to fund day-today operations of the state and local governments.
  • Tennessee ranks in the top 3 of states for best-funded pension plans (Pew Charitable Trusts 2019)

EDUCATION

Under Republican leadership, Tennessee is making great strides in education

  • Made the largest investment in public education ever — $11.3 billion total state and federal funding for K-12 and higher education – all without a tax increase.
    • This includes $6.6 billion in K-12 funding
    • $211 million in new education dollars
    • $71 million for teacher pay raises
    • $39.4 million will fully fund the state’s Basic Education Program to cover growth and inflation in the funding formula
    • The budget also invests $40 million to secure our schools
    • $25 million will also expand vocational and technical higher education training opportunities for our future leaders
  • The approved Fiscal Year 19-20 budget invests over $5.3 billion state dollars in K-12 education.
  • 5 million Tennesseans ages 18 and over have earned a high school degree or higher.
  • Tennessee was named the fastest-improving state in the nation on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), across math, reading and science.
  • We’ve gone from the back of the pack in education results to being a state frequently cited as an innovator.
  • Tennessee has overhauled teacher tenure, implemented rigorous academic standards, and expanded access to quality school options.
  • Students are outpacing their peers across the country in their academic progress and showing that all students can grow and learn, regardless of their background, race, or socioeconomic status.
  • Tennessee continues to see the highest high school graduation rates ever — 89.1 percent.
  • Since 2011 the high school graduation rate has risen by 3.6 percent.
  • School districts across Tennessee are making gains in student academic achievement:
    • TNReady 2019 assessment results indicate that students across the state are performing better in almost all math subjects.
    • The TNReady scores also show that more than half the schools in Tennessee – 56 percent – improved their growth scores (TVAAS scores) from the previous year, with 41 percent of all schools earning a level 4 or 5 TVAAS rating which measures year-to-year growth.
  • The state’s average ACT score has reached an all-time high of 20.2, and with even more students taking the test.
  • Tennessee showed historic increases in the number of students taking and getting college credit for Advanced Placement courses, which supports a seamless transition into post-secondary education.
  • Under the Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect programs, ALL Tennesseans have access to higher education tuition-free. This is a model that is garnering attention nationwide.
  • The “college going” rate has increased from 53.8 percent to 62 percent since 2007.
  • We implemented the Complete College Act and expanded statewide a successful pilot program that began at Chattanooga State, the SAILS program, which helps ensure more high school graduates are coming to college prepared for the coursework. Now, 15 percent fewer students need remedial work when they get to college.
  • Our goal that 55 percent of Tennesseans will have earned a certificate or degree by 2025 WILL happen. In fact, if we sustain our current momentum, we are on pace to meet the Drive to 55 goal two years early.
  • Tennessee has had the lowest three years of tuition increases in the last 40 years.
  • The number of students taking out student loans in Tennessee has decreased by 17 percent as a result of TNPromise and TNReconnect.
  • The state will invest $84.3M in new recurring dollars in higher education in 2019-20, a 5.3% increase over last fiscal year:
    • $56M of this will be distributed directly to Tennessee’s universities and community colleges
    • $4M will be distributed to the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology
  • Over the last five years, the state has invested over $500M in new recurring funds to higher education.
  • Tennessee also made significant investments in financial aid for students at public institutions in 2018:
    • Tennessee: $1,867 per FTE
    • National average: $666 per FTE
    • Regional average: $939 per FTE

 

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  • Kerry Roberts
    published this page in About 2019-10-29 09:50:24 -0500