The Jackson County Board of Education is asking the state to not penalize the school system’s BEP funding if the student population drop.
The board unanimously approved the Hold Harmless BEP resolution Monday night, which ensures BEP funding is at least the same amount as the previous school year. Director of Schools Kristy Brown said BEP state funding is the school’s largest source of capitol.
“We have been fortunate not to have a significant loss of enrollment even under the circumstances we are in,” Brown said. “But, in the case that we were to loss students, then something like this would be significant.”
Brown said the resolution will be sent to state government officials and the department of education for review. Brown said the resolution is a local movement with other director of schools in the Upper Cumberland to guarantee stable funding.
“We have had discussions among directors in the Upper Cumberland. I am sure across the state, as well,” Brown said. “Again, it is a local action made by our school board that emphasizes how important that stabilization in funding is, especially in our small rural districts.”
The resolution states a school system can not receive a lower amount of BEP funding based on a decrease in students. If the student population increases, the school system can gain BEP funding.
“I am going to be sending our resolution to our representatives and legislature,” Brown said. “Also, the state board of education, the department of education and the governor’s office. I want to make sure this happens for our county.”
The Basic Education Program (BEP) is the funding formula through which state education dollars are generated and distributed to Tennessee schools. Brown said even if only 20 students leave the Jackson County School System, funding can take a substantial hit.