Bluff City Ed reports that Shelby County Schools will file a lawsuit today claiming the state’s school funding formula (BEP) is inadequate and inequitable.
The Shelby County suit is separate from the suit filed by Hamilton County and six other districts — that suit suggests the state funding formula is inadequate to the tune of $500 million a year.
Why are districts suing? Because the BEP Review Committee — a state group set up (by law) to review the state’s school funding formula each year and report on any deficiencies – has consistently reported that the state is under-funding schools. Interestingly, the BEP Review Committee was set up to alert the legislature of funding disparities in a timely fashion so the state could avoid the kind of lawsuit that originally resulted in the BEP.
Funny thing about that: Tennessee has been sued twice since the original lawsuit and lost both times.
Not so funny thing: The General Assembly still appears to be reluctant to seriously address lack of funding for schools. In fact, some leaders are downright hostile to the idea.
Perhaps one (or several) of these lawsuits will be successful and the General Assembly will be forced to address the serious funding shortfall facing districts across the state. There’s even a way to start investing in schools without raising any taxes.
More on the BEP:
Money for Roads, but Not for Schools?
For more on education politics and policy, follow @TNEdReport