News in Brief: A State Capitals Roundup
Tenn. Needs School Aid, Adequacy Study Finds
A new study finds that Tennessee needs to spend $1.2 billion annually above what it already spends, if it is to provide an adequate education for its K-12 students.
The study was financed by a coalition of Tennessee education groups and looked at individual districts’ spending. The study determined that, when adjusted for inflation, most districts need significantly more money to meet state standards, comply with the mandates of the federal No Child Left Behind law, and replicate programs in successful school districts. Tennessee’s K-12 budget for fiscal 2005 is $3.8 billion.
Just three of the state’s 136 districts had enough money to meet the benchmark, according to the study, conducted by the Denver-based education research firm Augenblick, Palaich & Associates.
Graham Greeson, the research director for the Tennessee Education Association, said coalition members decided not to file a school finance lawsuit because they hope that Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat, will find more money for special education, English-language learners, and at-risk students.
Vol. 24, Issue 10, Page 27