The Nashville Public Education Foundation Says Tennessee’s Investments in Schools Are Woundingly Insufficient; Calls on the community to advocate for increased funding
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, March 15, 2021
NPEF pushes for adoption of BEP 2020 review board priority recommendations and long-term overhaul of education funding formula
NASHVILLE, Tennessee., March 15, 2021 / PRNewswire-PRWeb / – In an effort to raise awareness of education challenges and promote data-driven solutions, the Nashville Public Education Foundation (NPEF) has released a briefing note outlining the complexities, challenges, inadequacies and consequences of Tennessee Funding formula for the Basic Education Program (PEB) for schools. Entitled “Funding Our Schools: How Tennessee’s Funding Formula Fails to Meet the Needs of Nashville Students ”, the thesis encourages Tennessee to fully embrace the recommendations of its own BEP review committee and call on the community to advocate for increased funding for state schools.
“The state’s funding formula affects every neighborhood and every student in state public schools, but its complexity makes it difficult for families and neighbors to understand or discuss. We want to help shed light on why the formula is not meeting the needs of our students. and amplify this critical conversation, “said Katie Court, President and CEO of the Nashville Public Education Foundation. Ultimately, BEP consistently underestimates what it takes to run schools and places an impossible burden on local districts to make a difference. Too often people feel relieved when they hear that the state has “fully funded the BEP”, but this statement is essentially meaningless. Tennessee woefully underfunds schools that serve one million students each year – over 82,000 in just Nashville. “
Tennessee is currently ranked 43rd in the nation on per student funding levels according to the Education Law Center. The BEP formula dictates a budget amount per student by Tennessee it is approximately $ 3,655 lower than the national average. Furthermore, while the national distribution of local and state funding is often almost equal, Tennessee deficient formula means that Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) receives only about 26% of its revenue from the state, with the balance coming from local taxes in Davidson County.
In addition to insufficient funding, one of the main challenges of the formula is its constant underestimation of the budgetary needs related to the management of a school system, regardless of its size. The NPEF Policy Brief breaks down the main controversial and confusing elements of the formula, such as why about 7,000 more teachers are hired statewide each year than what actually counts in the BEP, and why it is This is a failure of the formula. These differences in what the state formula generates and what local districts actually have to spend have to be matched with local funds, which is incredibly difficult even for the wealthiest counties.
Each year, a BEP review committee reviews the formula and its results and makes recommendations to improve the way it funds our schools. Over the past year, the committee proposed a series of improvements that would help bring some key goals closer to national best practices. Endorsing and funding these recommendations is critical in the short term, but ultimately the NPEF is arguing for a complete overhaul of the formula.
Other fundamental BEP miscalculations are outlined in the Guidance Note, allowing for a solid discussion of changes that could improve student outcomes across the state. NPEF believes that a better funded and more strategic BEP will transform Tennessee public education system.
“Understanding BEP and researching its necessary reformulation is something that should be on the mind of every Nashvillian,” Cour said. “We have data that reflects proven pathways to success. Investing in education is an investment in the future of our state, and it is time that our investment matched our priorities for students. “
The NPEF regularly convenes stakeholders to advocate for data-driven solutions and changes. In addition to funding education, NPEF programs and coalitions address topics such as college access and success, the importance of effective principals and leaders, teacher recruitment and retention, and requirements. who must be present in schools for children to flourish.
About the Nashville Public Education Foundation
The Nashville Public Education Foundation is a non-profit organization that raises private funds to support teachers and leaders, advocate for success, and eliminate inequalities in public schools in the greater Nashville area. More information is available at nashvillepef.org.
Paul M Oakley, Tiny Mighty Communications, 6156278917, [email protected]
SOURCE Nashville Public Education Foundation