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Sexton: Hopeful To Pass New School Funding Formula This Session

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Sexton: Hopeful To Pass New School Funding Formula This Session

House Speaker Cameron Sexton said passing the new school funding formula before the General Assembly session ends will be tight.

When asked if the new formula was a necessity this session, Sexton said he hopes to have it passed by late-April.

“If it starts in committee it won’t be next week but the week after, that’s a good six weeks to get to the house floor if everything runs perfect which will be kind of late in March,” Sexton said. “It could be tight, so we’re just going to try to work with administration.”

Sexton said the language of the formula has not been released to the General Assembly at this point. Sexton said he expects to get a first look of Governor Bill Lee’s proposal this week. Sexton said the formula would not take effect until 2023, so there is time to get it right.

“I think we all agree with the concept of what he is wanting to do,” Sexton said. “Today’s classrooms and the funding levels should match what is happening today. Not what a classroom was in the 1990’s. I think a lot has changed, and so trying to update the formula to bring it more in line with what the students and the teachers and the school systems and the resources that are needed is a worth while endeavor.”

Lee’s proposal is a student-based funding formula. It would allocate funding to districts according to the needs of individual students. Sexton said the funding reform has been at the forefront of discussions so far as the General Assembly session enters its third week of committees.

Conversations about what will be included in the formula have been broad so far. But, Sexton said high poverty areas could receive more funding as well as money for nurses and counselors.

The initial frame work of the formula was released in January with several committees and community input playing a role in its creation.


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