Category Archives: BEP Funding


The Expanding Universe of Vouchers


TREE would like to thank everyone who has used their voice to stop voucher legislation from being debated and voted on in Full House. Thank you to our lawmakers who clearly see that HB 1049 has broader implications beyond the initial 5000 it claims to help.

As you know, studies from states with long-standing voucher programs show no students will be helped with this legislation. While the bill has been tabled in the House, it is not dead. We may need quick action by you, in the weeks to come, to let your elected officials know this is still an important issue to parents, teachers, students, and public school supporters. ANY voucher is a bad voucher.

Meanwhile, the launch of the special education voucher law passed last year is now delayed until 2017 because it’s tied up in rules and regulations. Yet lawmakers are ALREADY trying to expand it with a bill that will allow children, never before enrolled in public school, to take a voucher. Feel free to contact your lawmakers about this bill.

SB 1735 *Gresham (HB 1568 by *Moody) Education – As introduced, allows a student attending a Tennessee school for the first time rather than attending a Tennessee public school for the first time to be eligible for an individualized education account, if the student also meets other requirements; allows the department of education to remit funds to individualized education accounts at least quarterly rather than quarterly. – Amends TCA Title 49, Chapter 10, Part 14.

Voucher supporters, along with money from outside interests, will stop at nothing to expand voucher programs in Tennessee, effectively creating a privatized black hole for taxpayer dollars. Tennessee ranks 47th in funding for public education, leaving schools to tread water while legislators look for ways to fund private schools.

Thank you again TREE supporters. It takes all of you to help our General Assembly understand that we believe our public schools need their full support. Be sure to thank your lawmakers for supporting public education in your community by voting for ALL kids, not just those who can choose. Please stay tuned to our posts for needed action if the HB 1049 is brought back up for a vote on the House floor.

More Voucher reading:
MN Voucher School Leader Indicted for Stealing…

Frank Cagle: Beware the money behind vouchers

Momma Bears: Vouchers Stuck on a Desk

Cottage Industry of Fraud – FL

 Image credit: Pinterest page.

Art Credit: 123rf stock image

Speak Up for Adequate School Funding

Art Credit: 123rf stock image

Art Credit: 123rf stock image

Kudos to the local Tennessee boards of education who have finally stepped up to DEMAND that the state make good on its obligation to adequately fund our public schools. Shelby, Knox, and Hamilton counties have all “taken steps toward suing the state over the adequacy of education funding in Tennessee.” If you live in one of these counties, please thank your school board members. If you live in another county, please encourage your school board representative to join in this action.

The next system to consider action is Metro Nashville Public Schools. Amazingly, some in MNPS appear to be resistant to joining a statewide effort to get our students and teachers the resources they need to succeed. On Tuesday, the MNPS board will discuss whether to take action.

If you live in Nashville, it is crucial that you contact the school board NOW to urge them to stand up for our students.

Here’s your handy copy and paste list to email the board and Dr. Register:

The shameful truth is Tennessee consistently ranks 48th or 49th in the nation for school funding. In 2007, our state government created the BEP 2.0, a formula that determines the level of funding the state should provide to school districts. In the seven years BEP 2.0 has been in place, the state has NOT fully funded the BEP 2.0–willfully shirking its responsibility to adequately support our schools. This is an injustice to children across the state and it’s time for Metro Nashville school board representatives to join with their colleagues in Tennessee and fight for the students they were elected to represent.  It’s time we all stand up and demand that our state adequately fund our schools.

Speak up today. Email the school board.

Read about backstory:

TnEdReport Archives on Basic Education Plan Funding Formula

The BEP is the Basic Education Plan which is the state funding formula for public schools. The formula includes a number of components, including funding for teaching and staff positions based on district size as well as allocations for teacher salaries and insurance. It is the mechanism by which the state fulfills its constitutional responsibility to provide a free public education to all Tennessee students.

In collaboration with East Nashville United.