Rulemaking Approval Process Advances for New Tennessee School Funding Formula

Tennessee’s new public school funding program, the Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement, continues to move forward and soon rulemaking for the program will begin a review by Tennessee’s Attorney General before publication for 90 days on the Secretary of State’s website.

While many details of TISA were spelled out in legislation passed in April and signed into law in May by Gov. Bill Lee, rulemaking is required to give more detailed specifics on how the funding formula will operate. Those rules passed the Tennessee State Board of Education’s review before moving on to the Attorney General review.

Read More

Lee Signs New Tennessee Public School Funding Formula into Law

A new funding formula for public education in Tennessee was signed into law by Gov. Bill Lee on Monday.

Lee said “it’s long overdue that we make this change” before being joined by legislative leaders and Department of Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn on the stage of Franklin High School, where Lee attended.

Read More

Mayor Andy Ogles on Public Schools and County Commission: ‘Communication Is Key’

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Mayor Andy Ogles in studio to discuss the importance of communication between school boards and the county commission.

Read More

State Representative John Ragan Discusses the State of the State Address, K-12 Education Budget, and Basic Education Program

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Chairman John Ragan of the House of Representatives Government Operations Committee to the newsmakers line to discuss K12 education and the Basic Education Program.

Read More

State Representative Mark White Talks About Tweaking Critical Race Theory Legislation

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed State Representative Mark White to the newsmakers line to discuss the importance of BEP and fixing CRT legislation in the state.

Read More

State Representative Johnny Garrett Talks BEP, ESAs, and Top Priorties This Session

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed State Represenative Johnny Garrett (R-TN-45) to discuss top priorities for this session of the Tennessee General Assembly, the potential for adjustment to the Basic Education Program, and the implementation of ESA’s.

Read More

State Senator Mike Bell Details Continuing Push for Education Savings Accounts and Parental School Choice

Senator Mike Bell

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed State Senator Mike Bell to the newsmakers line to talk about his continued efforts for parental school choice through education savings accounts (ESAs).

Read More

Tennessee Education Officials Schedule Eight Town Halls to Offer Input on Public Education Funding

Staff at the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) have invited all state residents to eight regional public town halls later this month and throughout next month to discuss the state’s public education funding strategy.“These public town halls will spark localized conversations about student-based funding for public education in Tennessee and how to create a new strategy to best serve our students and ensure they are prepared for future success,” according to a TDOE press release.

Read More

Teacher Pay Will Be Issue in Tennessee Public School Funding Review

As Tennessee begins looking at revamping its Basic Education Program (BEP) to fund public schools, one factor looming in the discussion of a new funding formula is teacher pay.

Legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle recognize teacher pay and how the BEP funds teacher pay are an issue.

Read More

K-12 Education Funding Has Doubled in Tennessee Since 1992

K-12 education is the top expenditure in Tennessee’s budget and has more than doubled, adjusted for inflation, since the current school funding plan began in 1992, a Sycamore Institute report shows.

Tennessee’s education funding model, called the Basic Education Program (BEP), is used to disperse state funds to individual school districts. Tennessee spent $5.2 billion on K-12 education in fiscal year 2020, while TennCare, the state’s Medicaid program and second-highest expense, cost the state $3.6 billion.

Read More

Comptroller Report Shows Tennessee Public Schools Spent an Average Nearly $10K per Pupil in 2019-20 School Year

New data from the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office of Research and Education Accountability shows Tennessee public schools spent an average of $9,753 per student during the 2019-20 school year.

The comptroller data shows the Franklin Special School District had the highest per-pupil spending in the state at $15,582.19. Oak Ridge Schools was second at $13,041.51 per pupil, and Metro Nashville Public Schools was third at $12,374.33 per student. Union County Public Schools had the lowest spending per pupil at $7,935.77.

Read More

State Commission Report: State and Local Education Funding for K-12 Exceeded Basic Education Program Requirements by $2.1 Billion in 2017-18

According to a state commission report that studied education funding for fiscal year 2017-2018, the combined state and local government funding exceeded the Basic Education Program (BEP) funding formula by $2.1 billion.

The report, “K-12 Public Education Funding and Services,” was prepared by the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) at the request of then Chairman of the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee Charles Sargent in April 2018.

Read More