Tennessee is at a historical crossroads.

Our funding formula has become an Engine of Inequality and we have an opportunity to replace one of the nation’s most underfunded and inequitable education funding formulas in the country.

Our school districts are incredibly diverse, from urban to rural, from fast-growth suburbs to small farming communities, and the challenges facing each are multifaceted and complex. But all of them will benefit from improving our funding so that our students are prepared for college and career.

Read the Advocacy Guide
School Funding Town Hall

It is time to change

TN’s funding formula is unfair

— especially for children from low-income backgrounds.

High-wealth districts spend $400 more per pupil than low poverty districts do.

That translates to millions of more dollars for districts to spend on their student every year.1

TN’s funding formula is nearly 30 years old

and is not designed to equip students for success beyond high school.

The current formula relies on complicated calculations

that fund an outdated list of resources for schools. TN’s formula has been called the most complex and hardest to understand in the country.1

TN's current formula is underfunded

and does not meet the needs of students today.

We are 44th in the country,

spending $11,139 per pupil, far below the national average of $15,114.2

The state of Tennessee serves nearly one million public school students.

One million stories. One million dreams. One million reasons to fix TN’s funding formula.

By failing to modernize Tennessee’s funding formula and make sufficient investments in PreK-12 education, Tennessee has failed to set students up for success.

Less than 1/3 of TN students are on track or at grade-level.

Many more lost ground during the pandemic.3

Only 15% of students from low income backgrounds are on track

or at grade-level this year. English learners and Black and Latino students were also disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.3

60% of all jobs

are projected to require a postsecondary credential. Yet, only 46.8% of Tennessee graduates earn a postsecondary credential or diploma within six years of graduation.4

It's time to fix the formula

We believe all students can learn at high levels when taught and supported at high levels. Tennessee’s K-12 education system has arguably never truly supported all students to reach their full potential and prepare them for post-secondary opportunities and success.
See our recommendations

Let’s Build an Engine of Opportunity Together

Field Support

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Dollars & Sense Series

Dollars and Sense is a 7-part learning series designed to help Tennesseans understand how schools are funded in Tennessee. Learn at your own pace by watching webinars, accessing reading lists and downloading presentation materials.

Learn how Tennessee schools are funded

Advocacy Guide

Are you attending an upcoming TDOE Town Hall to discuss and review Tennessee’s funding formula? Do you serve on a subcommittee? Download and print our advocacy guide to see recommendations and questions for consideration.

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