Tennessee’s funding formula for schools, the BEP, is going to trial next year. Chalkbeat reports that a Nashville judge has scheduled a trial in case claiming the state funding formula is inadequate. That trial is set for October 2021.
Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle set the long-awaited trial date during a conference call last week with attorneys in the case. The litigation pits school districts in Memphis and Nashville against the state over whether Tennessee allocates enough money for K-12 education, especially for its urban students.
The trial’s outcome could have major implications for how Tennessee public schools are funded. If successful, the case could force the state to invest more in K-12 education, which already consumes about $6.5 billion of the state’s $39.6 billion budget.
A recent report from the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) found that Tennessee underfunds schools by around $1.7 billion a year.