Investment in student achievement

This year, the State Legislature passed the Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement Act, the first restructuring of how Tennessee funds its public education system in more than thirty years. For the first time in the state’s history, funding will follow each student and hold school districts accountable for measurable goals to apply for in order to retain state funding to public schools.

The Nashville Chamber and its partners played an integral part in ensuring that this funding was distributed fairly, which allowed school systems like Nashville, which has high tourism tax revenue, not to be unfairly penalized by their ability to pay. This was done with a Cost Differential Factor, or a device the state can fund outside of the formula to bring balance to the new funding equation.

For example, this legislation specifically allocated additional funding to help students with unique learning needs like dyslexia or ADHD by providing tutoring, adjusted academic goals, support, and accommodations that students may need to access classroom instruction. Additional funding will also be allocated to students who are learning English as a second language, students who are economically disadvantaged or in concentrated poverty, and students who require homebound special education services.


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Highlight #1

For years, thousands of Tennessee residents from all corners of the state have been unable to apply for a professional license due to antiquated language in Tennessee law. The Chamber, along with other advocacy partners, successfully lobbied to allow 24,000 workers with legal immigration status across the state to seek licensure. Industries such as healthcare, IT, hospitality, and construction now have access to a greater workforce, and 7,000 families in the Midstate are earning better wages.

Highlight #2

Following a petition for referendum that sought to undo Mayor John Cooper and Metro Council’s 34% property tax increase, the Chamber successfully advocated for and helped pass a new petition to the Metro charter change that raised the petition threshold to 10% of all registered voters in the county when seeking to change the Metro Charter.

Highlight #3

The Chamber worked with the Nashville Downtown Partnership and the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation to pass legislation in both the Tennessee State Legislature and the Davidson County Metro Council to allow the Transportation Licensing Commission of Metro Government to enact the state’s first regulation of entertainment transportation vehicles.

Highlight #4

To help fund a new, covered Titans Stadium, the Nashville Area Chamber successfully advocated for $500 million in state bonds and an authorization to raise the city’s hotel-motel tax.

Highlight #5

Nashville Region’s Vital Signs report is a collaboration led by the Chamber in partnership with the Greater Nashville Regional Council (GNRC) that allows us to identify progress and forecast emerging issues. For a decade, it has illuminated issues impacting Middle Tennessee’s economic well-being and residents’ quality of life. The survey and follow-up publication give elected officials, business/civic leaders, and the community the resource to check the vitality of our economy and plan for a successful future.

Highlight #6

In alignment with the Chamber’s mission to increase talent for an educated workforce, the Chamber successfully advocated to increase eligibility for students to receive the Tennessee Promise scholarship, a state scholarship for students entering post-secondary education.
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