A Hamilton County School Board Member is exploring the idea of a lawsuit that would force the State of Tennessee to fully fund the BEP, the state’s funding formula for schools.
Hamilton County Board Member Jonathan Welch argues that the school system loses $14.5 million a year because the BEP is not fully funded by the legislature.
Welch’s proposal comes on the heels of a resolution passed by the Shelby County School Board calling for increased BEP funding.
These proposals come in an environment where the current BEP leaves Tennessee schools funded at less dollars per student than Mississippi. Additionally, Tennessee teachers rank 40th in the nation in improvement in teacher pay over the past 10 years.
A deeper analysis of the BEP suggests the entire formula is broken and that the state needs an investment of nearly $500 million to fix it.
Of course, as noted in the Times-Free Press story on the issue, some in the General Assembly want to reduce sales taxes and end the Hall Tax on stock dividends and bond interest.
The question is: Will the 2015 session of the General Assembly see a serious move to improve the BEP or will it take a lawsuit to force lawmakers to act?
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