The Commercial Appeal reports that the Shelby County School Board has passed a resolution asking the state to properly fund public schools through the state’s BEP funding formula.
The board is asking the state to pay $10,000 more toward teacher salaries and fund 12 months of insurance premiums for district staff, instead of 10. The requests are also the top recommendations from the state Basic Education review committee from last year.
If the two requests were funded, SCS would receive $99.5 million in state funding, enough to give teachers the biggest raise they’ve had in years, while also offsetting the cost of monthly insurance premiums. The cost for the year now is spread over 10 months.
For more than two decades, the state has paid health insurance on a 10-month basis. Last year, the cost to cover 12 months was estimated at $60.4 million. This year’s estimate is $64 million.
In 2007, the state attempted to address the BEP funding shortfall by passing BEP 2.0, but that program has never been fully-funded.
Tennessee consistently ranks at or near the bottom of the country in terms of per pupil spending. Additionally, Tennessee’s teacher salaries consistently grow at a pace below the national average.
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