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White Co Schools Submit Feedback On New Education Funding Framework

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
White Co Schools Submit Feedback On New Education Funding Framework

Funding for needed positions, technology upgrades and teacher compensation among the feedback that White County Schools submitted as the state works on a new education funding formula.

The state department of education gave one week of public comment on the new funding framework. Tuesday was the deadline. Director of Schools Kurt Dronebarger said the suggestions have been folded into this new plan.

“We’ve submitted in various forms, and we’ve had several conversations,” Dronebarger said. “I had a conversation just last week with the commissioner, and a group of Upper Cumberland directors where we submitted some more feedback to her. So there’s been a whole lot that comes out of White County and the Upper Cumberland.”

Dronebarger said nurse ratios, school counselors and retention positions were a priority. Under the proposal, the current funding formula would still be utilized, but money per students would be determined by a weighted system.

Those categories include special needs, students in rural areas, learning needs and students attending charter schools. Dronebarger said real dollar amounts have not been shared for the new plan yet, so while there is a direction, a lot of uncertainties remain. One of those being the the rural aspect.

“That’s one area that is still cloudy,” Dronebarger said. “There’s a lot of descriptive factors they’re breaking it down to how close you are to a city, what a city actually means, what that definition is, whether you are a sparse location or near location. There’s a lot of unanswered questions there, but there is certainly a concentration there towards poverty.”

Students living in poverty receive the highest priority and charter schools the lowest. The funding per student would be used for teacher salaries, technology needs, academic intervention and district-specific needs.

According to a state release, the final plan set to be released on January 24th.


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