A proposal to amend Tennessee’s constitution and leave the legislature with sole discretion over what it spends on public schools cleared a House panel last week after heated debate.
The sponsor, Rep. Bill Dunn, a Republican, said the change is necessary to protect taxpayers from “activist judges” who might rule that the state is not adequately funding education.
But Rep. Kevin Dunlap, a Democrat, pointed to state supreme court rulings in the early 1990s and two subsequent rulings that effectively required state lawmakers to fix funding inequities that he said had hurt rural students. Without the current language in the constitution, he said, the lawsuits might not have come to fruition.
A version of this article appeared in the March 23, 2016 edition of Education Week as Full Legislative Control Sought Over Ed. Funding