BEP Changes to be Announced in January

WPLN reports that Gov. Bill Lee’s administration will announce its proposed changes to the state’s school funding formula (BEP) in mid-January.

The Tennessee Department of Education plans to release details of its policy recommendations in mid-January.

Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn laid out the timetable in a meeting with legislators on Tuesday. She says the new approach will make it easier to see how much education costs for each student.

While there has been much discussion on changing the formula, there has (so far) been little mention among key education leaders about increasing the overall amount of money dedicated to schools.

This comes in spite of the state falling $1.7 billion short of adequately funding schools, according to a report by a bipartisan commission.

Meanwhile, some key education advocacy groups are calling on Gov. Lee to not only change the formula, but also to increase the overall amount of money invested in schools:

And, it’s worth noting that the state has billions in surplus dollars to spend on education:

While it’s not exactly clear what the new formula will look like, some are speculating it could be a pathway to vouchers:

One possible hint of where Lee is headed can be found in the recent SCORE for schools conference:

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For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport

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