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Gov. Bill Lee calls for review of state's education funding formula

bill lee
Posted at 8:59 AM, Oct 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-08 19:29:40-04

Gov. Bill Lee wants to review Tennessee's education funding formula — and the state wants parents' input on the plan.

Gov. Lee and Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn made the announcement Friday, saying the state’s current school funding framework — also known as the Basic Education Program (BEP) — has not been "meaningfully updated" in more than 30 years.

“We will pursue a rigorous review of our state’s education funding to ensure we are properly investing in students and stewarding our resources well,” said Gov. Lee. “I invite every Tennessee parent to tell us about their current experiences as well as their hopes for the education, environment and experience in our K-12 public schools.”

According to the state's website, BEP is the funding formula through which state education dollars are generated and then distributed to Tennessee schools. The Board annually reviews and approves school system allocations generated through the BEP formula.

Lee says Tennesseans are invited to give their input on the plan, with a focus on the following:

  • "Prioritizes students over systems"
  • "Empowers parents to engage in their child’s education"
  • "Incentivizes student outcomes"
  • "Ensures all students, regardless of location or learning needs, are served at a high-level"
  • "Reflects Tennesseans’ values"
  • "Creates flexible funding that prepare students for postsecondary success"

Click here to learn how you can get involved.

If you are interested in participating in an exploratory committee should reach out to TDOE.communications@tn.gov.