School Districts Consider Suing State for More BEP Financing

CHATTANOOGA, TN. (WDEF-TV) – Facing a full-scale revolt from some of the state’s school districts, Tennessee governor Bill Haslam says he will meet with leaders of the 4 largest school systems next week.
Hamilton county is one of the districts that’s considering joining a lawsuit to demand that education be fully funded.

Despite some serious funding issues waiting for her back in Nashville, the Tennessee Commissioner of Education moved ahead with her goal to connect with 10-thousand teachers this year.
Candice McQueen started her day in Chattanooga at Brainerd High school…where the focus was on how students are being prepared for the workplace.
But the backdrop of the trip was a growing demand from Tennessee school districts for more BEP funding.

CANDICE MCQUEEN, COMMISSIONER, TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION "What should the next phase look like? Regardless of the funding formula, what should we be talking about…what do our schools need? What funding is necessary to make sure we’re supporting the needs insides the school district?

State lawmakers point-out that Tennessee tax dollars go to Tenncare and transportation, in addition to schools.
As of now, there’s no more money allocated for education.

SEN. TODD GARDENHIRE, (R) CHATTANOOGA "The problem is…not necessarily the BEP formula, but do we have the money to completely fund it? If the school board can go to court and the court can order us to do it…that’s a different matter…and I’m all for getting as money as you can for education. However, remember, the county council can always allocate more money to local schools."

Hamilton county schools get their funding through the county commission, which has adamantly refused to raise local taxes to make up for the state shortage.

GREG BECK, DISTRICT , COUNTY COMMISSION "Well I’m all with them….and were just waiting to see …And I support what they’re doing."

Hamilton county school board members voted 8 to 1 Thursday to explore joining the lawsuit. Nashville, Knoxville and Memphis may also add their names to it.

Members of the Hamilton county school board Thursday were told that parents and charitable groups are making-up the rest of the funding needed for local schools to get through the year.

Categories: Education, Hamilton County, Local News

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