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Tennessee Governor Bill Lee proposed more than $1 billion new recurring funding for education

By: Adam Brown

MTN Reporter

February 2, 2022

Monday night (Jan 31st) Governor Bill Lee proposed more than $1 billion of new recurring funding for Tennessee public schools. Commissioner Schwinn called the plan, “a comprehensive, responsible plan for improving outcomes for Tennessee students.”

Governor Lee’s plan for K-12 education targeted specific needs, as well as concerns raised by thousands of Tennesseans.

The specifics of the disbursement of the funds are as follows from the press release by Governor Lee’s office:

“$750 million investment in public education and for a new student-based funding formula to invest in Tennessee students, a $500 million investment in Innovative School Models in Tennessee’s middle and high schools, a $200 million investment in communities that have public schools located in floodplains, a $125 million increase in teacher compensation funding, and $32 million in facilities funding for public charter schools.”

The new student-based funding formula, which is set to improve the way Tennessee funds public schools for the first time in more than 30 years, will focus more on the needs of the individual student and will provide more transparency on how the state funds are spent.

The Innovative School Models investment is aimed at trying to establish these programs in every public high school and middle school in the state, further committing to ensuring that Tennessee is workforce ready.

"The future of innovative programs to boost student readiness is now brighter than ever,” said Dr. Jean Luna, Chief of Student Readiness, Tennessee Department of Education.

Governor Lee’s proposal targets floods and flood damage with a $200 million investment.

According to The Governor’s office, there are 14 public schools in Tennessee in a floodplain susceptible to being severely damaged or destroyed by future flooding.

This proposal commits to addressing these potential risks by providing Tennessee students with, “safe and modern facilities to grow and learn.”

With a $125 million investment in teacher compensation funding, Governor Lee looks to emphasize the importance of public educators in the community.

The proposal also has a commitment to Tennessee public charter schools with $32 million for facility funding.

Governor Lee’s proposal expresses his commitment to, and his belief in, the importance of not just education in our community, but the quality of the education, the educators and the facilities where the students are taught.


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