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

Gov. Lee said that the state's current education funding formula has "lots of opportunities for improvement."

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Governor Bill Lee announced on Friday that he is calling for a review of the state's education plan and wants to pivot toward a more "student-centered approach."

"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," Lee said. 

According to Lee, the state’s current school funding framework, also known as the Basic Education Program (BEP), has not received a meaningful update in more than 30 years. He said the funding formula has "lots of opportunities for improvement."

Both Lee and Commissioner of Education Penny Schwinn said they will hold public hearing events such as committees, survey opportunities, local meetings and more in the coming months. 

"We will include representation from every part of the state," Schwinn said. 

District and school leaders, elected officials, families, education stakeholders and members of the public are encouraged to participate in these public hearing events to provide input on the state's education funding plan.

Lee and Schwinn said they wanted to focus on a student investment strategy that would:

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

You can visit the webpage for more information and learn how to get involved.

Anyone who is interested in participating in an exploratory committee should reach out through email to TDOE.communications@tn.gov.