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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