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.
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 oldand is not designed to equip students for success beyond high school.
The current formula relies on complicated calculationsthat fund an outdated list of resources for schools.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 underfundedand 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.
Let’s Build an Engine of Opportunity Together
-  Education Law Center. (2021). Making the Grade 2021: How Fair is School Funding in Your State? https://edlawcenter.org/research/making-the-grade-2020-state-profiles.html
-  Polanchek, C. (n.d.). Basic Education Program. Tennessee’s Comptroller of the Treasury Office of Research and Education Accountability. https://comptroller.tn.gov/office-functions/research-and-education-accountability/interactive-tools/bep.html
-  Tennessee Department of Education. (2021). Spring 2021 TCAP Release: August 2021. https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/education/tcap/spring-2021/TN-AcademicPerformance2020-2021.pdf
-  Lumina Foundation. (2021). Tennessee. A Stronger Nation: Learning Beyond High School Builds American Talent. https://www.luminafoundation.org/stronger-nation/report/#/progress/state/TN/