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Potential For Federal Stimulus Postpones School Funding Decision

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Potential For Federal Stimulus Postpones School Funding Decision

The Tennessee General Assembly did not decide on BEP funding during its special session last week, because it wants to wait

State Senator Paul Bailey said there’s some thought the Biden Administration might address school funding in this pandemic year.

“Washington has signaled that they may send down some additional funding for school districts,” Bailey said. “I think we’re waiting to see if the Federal Government sends additional funding down for schools. If that’s the case, then we’ll need to add that into our funding formula.”

Local Systems wanted their BEP funding formulas to be held harmless because of COVID focused home schooling. Bailey said system funding will be discussed further by the legislature during its budget debate

“We want to make sure that our schools receive adequate funding, that is a huge concern of our local school directors and school boards,” Bailey said. “As to how much funding they’re going to receive. That’s always one of the big portions of our state budget. We want to make sure that we adequately fund them in a regular session.”

Bailey said the funding allocated for Summer camps and phonics based reading falls under a similar situation as school funding itself. He said with these being new programs, it is hard to say right now whether enough funding was given.

“This is a new program and so it’s a situation to where it may be a wait and see type situation,” Bailey said. “The question was raised as to whether or not that is enough funding. Based on information that they put together, they thought that it was and so that’s what we approved.”

The Tennessee General Assembly will use reserve funding from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Family funds to cover part of the costs of the learning loss programs. The General Assembly estimates using $35 million from the TANF each year for the initiative.


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