NOAH to Gov. Lee: We Need a Bigger Pie

Nashville Organized for Action and Hope (NOAH) will be hosting a school funding town hall on Monday, December 6th at 5:30 PM at Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church.

Here’s more from NOAH on the planned event, which will include Commissioner of Education Penny Schwinn:

The Tennessee Department of Education has been holding Town Hall meetings statewide about revising the 30-year-old  BEP (Basic Education Plan) that funds education. At these town halls, parents, education leaders, and community  members have called for increased funding overall, as well as for specific programs. Until now, no town hall had been held in Nashville. On Dec. 6, Commissioner Penny Schwinn will hear from parents, teachers, and community  members about Nashville’s need for a bigger “pie” of funding. 

NOAH and the Tennessee Alliance for Equity in Education have both been active in organizing to improve education in  Tennessee – with NOAH advocating for increased funding from Metro government to break the “school-to-prison  pipeline” by reducing suspensions. In August, NOAH and our sister organizations, MICAH in Memphis and CALEB in  Chattanooga held a statewide “Day of Power and Prayer” to highlight the urgent needs of students and to call for  increased BEP funding. The Tennessee Alliance for Equity in Education works to expand excellence and equity in  education from preschool through college, increase college access and completion particularly for historically  underserved students, engage diverse communities dedicated to education equity, and increase political and public will  to act on equity issues. Both organizations realize that in Tennessee, the major solution to education funding lies at the  state level.  

Currently, Tennessee ranks 46th nationally in education spending. Sadly, we spend more to incarcerate adults than we  do to educate our children. At the Dec. 6th Town Hall, NOAH will be outlining the need for MORE FUNDING for: 

• Classroom Technology, a need across the state. 

• Lower Student/Teacher Ratios, recognized nationally as improving student learning.  

• Professional Development for Teachers, so teachers can teach a wide range of students and address student  needs with the best available training.  

• Social Worker, School Counselor, and Nurse ratios that mirror national recommendations, which will support  health and safety and reduce suspensions. 

• The specific needs of low-income students, English learners, and students with disabilities. We must not simply “re-slice” the funding pie. Tennessee has a $2 billion surplus – yet we are starving our school  systems! There are no frugal shortcuts to improving education in Tennessee. Our actions will show if we truly value our  children — by investing more in our children and the future of Tennessee.

crop unrecognizable woman serving delicious pie on table
Photo by Marko Klaric on

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