Town halls planned to get public input on Tennessee's education formula

Posted at 9:14 PM, Oct 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-22 01:51:16-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Lawmakers have begun discussing ways to revamp Tennessee's formula for funding public schools, but now, the public has been invited to weigh in.

The Basic Education Program (BEP) is the current formula for how schools are allocated money. It's been in the books since 1992.

While there have been small changes in the past, Gov. Bill Lee wants to revamp the formula completely.

Eight public "town halls" are now on the calendar to discuss the strategy, and all will be livestreamed. According to the Department of Education, these regional town halls were created to spark local conversations on a new way to best serve Tennessee students.

“Along with partners and stakeholders across the state, I am thrilled to invite all Tennesseans to join us for these conversations about what a student-based funding strategy could look like in our state,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “Focusing on the needs of our students and how to best set them up for success is our collective goal and we look forward to hearing directly from parents, stakeholders, and members of the public about their thoughts, concerns and hopes for a new public education funding strategy to best support our kids.”

Tennesseans are encouraged to submit comments and questions that will be discussed at the town halls via email to

Below are the details for each event:

Mid-Cumberland Region: Wednesday, October 27 at 5:30 p.m.
Merrol Hyde Magnet School at 128 Township Dr. in Hendersonville
Click here for the livestream link

Southwest Region: Thursday, October 28 at 5:30 p.m.
National Civil Rights Museum at 450 Mulberry St. in Memphis
Click here for the livestream link

South Central Region: Monday, November 1 at 6 p.m.
University of Tennessee, Southern - Curry Athletic Complex at 150 Kermit Smith Dr. in Pulaski
Click here for the livestream link

East Region: Tuesday, November 2 at 6 p.m.
University of Tennessee, Knoxville - Ballroom in Student Union at 1502 Cumberland Ave. in Knoxville
Click here for the livestream link

First Region: Wednesday, November 3 at 5:30 p.m.
Niswonger Performance Arts Center at 212 Tusculum Blvd. in Greeneville
Click here for the livestream link

Southeast Region: Thursday, November 4 at 5:30 p.m.
The Howard School at 2500 Market St. in Chattanooga
Click here for the livestream link

Upper Cumberland Region: Wednesday, November 10 at 5:30 p.m.
Jackson County Middle School at 170 Blue Devil Ln. in Gainesboro
Click here for the livestream link

Northwest Region: Monday, November 22 at 5:30 p.m.
Gibson County High School at 130 Trenton Hwy. in Dyer
Click here for the livestream link