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New TN Schools Funding Formula Passes

By Teresa P. Crowder
Freelance Writer

Last week the Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement (TISA) Act was passed by both the House and Senate, and it is on the way to the desk of Governor Lee.
TISA will be the new Tennessee School funding formula and a welcome update to the stale Basic Education Plan of the current and past years for our schools.
The current Basic Education Plan allocates funds to the schools in Tennessee, focusing on materials, supplies, and teacher salaries.
Currently, Tennessee is 44th in the nation for per-pupil spending.
According to school officials, the TISA plan is student-centered and focuses on students’ individual needs. A base allocation provides the basic needs for all students and schools. An additional weighted component provides for economically disadvantaged students and students with unique learning abilities and living in small school districts.
“I am very supportive and appreciative of the additional funds coming to Johnson County Schools with the passing of TISA (Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement), said Johnson County Director of Schools Dr. Simcox. “We will be receiving additional dollars in funding with no increase in local contributions projected through 2030.”
The current funding formula for public schools
is the Basic Education Plan (BEP), which is 20 years old and program-based.
The formula works the
same for every school system in Tennessee, making it very equitable to ensure that all school systems receive the same amount of funding based on their student populations and needs. It starts with the student, and then based on their
needs, additional funds are added.
The needs of school systems changed in 20 years, with additional positions added above and beyond what BEP pays for.
Simcox emphasized that the new funding formula with TISA will not solve “every need we have, but it is a positive step forward.”
TISA will go into effect for the 2023-2024 school year. Simcox confirmed that the school board and administrators will be having “numerous discussions around TISA and the most impactful way to address our school system once we receive the final breakdown of our allocation in every area of the funding formula.”
For more information, visit www.tn.gov/content/
dam/tn/education/2021-funding-engagement/TISA%20FAQs.pdf