Education Funding

State of the States 2003: Tennessee

April 02, 2003 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

TENNESSEE

Education ‘Vital’ in Bredesen Budget

Gov. Phil Bredesen of Tennessee has unveiled what he calls the “family budget” and says its goal is to prevent cuts to K-12 education while making significant cuts in most other programs.

State of the States

Gov. Bredesen announced in a speech to the legislature March 10, the $21.5 billion plan for the fiscal 2004 state budget would allot $27 million to raising teacher salaries in 75 of the state’s rural and impoverished school districts.

He said his plan would also bring Tennessee into compliance with orders from a 2002 state supreme court ruling last year that found the present salary system unconstitutional. (“Court Orders Tennessee to Level Teacher Pay,” Oct. 16, 2002).

It would also keep the state’s per-pupil funding formula at current levels.

Gov. Bredesen, a Democrat who took office in January, named K-12 education, health care, and homeland-security initiatives as “vital” priorities. To protect those priorities and balance the budget, he proposes to decrease appropriations in other spending areas by $355 million from last year’s levels. As a result, most other state programs, including higher education, would see 9 percent cuts.

The governor said he dubbed his plan the “family budget” because the legislature needs to act like a household and prepare a realistic, balanced budget.

“I’m simply asking us to do the same thing that every family in our state has to do,” he said.

In the face of severe budget woes in the past several years, the legislature has used accounting gimmicks, cut spending and increased state sales and business taxes to stave off an income tax.

The state will have to use up the remainder of its rainy-day fund to cover a $500 million shortfall that is projected in the coming year, Gov. Bredesen said.

Gov. Bredesen also said that, over the next year, his office will study the state’s education funding system, and that he would propose a long-term strategy to improve teacher pay.

—Joetta Sack


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Funding Reported Essay Are We Asking Schools to Do Too Much?
Schools are increasingly being saddled with new responsibilities. At what point do we decide they are being overwhelmed?
5 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
Education Funding Interactive Look Up How Much COVID Relief Aid Your School District is Getting
The federal government gave schools more than $190 billion to help them recover from the pandemic. But the money was not distributed evenly.
2 min read
Education Funding Explainer Everything You Need to Know About Schools and COVID Relief Funds
How much did your district get in pandemic emergency aid? When must the money be spent? Is there more on the way? EdWeek has the answers.
11 min read
090221 Stimulus Masks AP BS
Dezirae Espinoza wears a face mask while holding a tube of cleaning wipes as she waits to enter Garden Place Elementary School in Denver for the first day of in-class learning since the start of the pandemic.
David Zalubowski/AP
Education Funding Why Dems' $82 Billion Proposal for School Buildings Still Isn't Enough
Two new reports highlight the severe disrepair the nation's school infrastructure is in and the crushing district debt the lack of federal and state investment has caused.
4 min read
Founded 55 years ago, Foust Elementary received its latest update 12-25 years ago for their HVAC units. If the school receives funds from the Guilford County Schools bond allocation, they will expand classrooms from the back of the building.
Community members in Guilford, N.C. last week protested the lack of new funding to improve the district's crumbling school facilities.
Abby Gibbs/News & Record via AP