Jackson County Middle School will host one of only eight town halls in Tennessee to discuss school funding.
The town hall on November 30 at 5:30 PM will be for the entire Upper Cumberland region. Director of Schools Kristy Brown said that with Tennessee’s BEP currently facing a lawsuit, there will be questions about what changes the state and department of education have in mind.
“Making sure that all the students, all types of students are represented in the funding,” Brown said. “Equity in the funding and quite frankly, adequacy in the funding, that there’s enough of it in general. I believe that Tennessee is ranked about 45th in student funding in the nation. So we hope that there is more funding. ”
Brown said that the three decade old system is certainly due for a review and improvements.
“I think change is difficult in general and it’s so sweeping, all the students in Tennessee and school districts in Tennessee would be affected by any change,” Brown said. “So I think just providing input on, maybe a little bit of an understanding of what the BEP is now and then maybe some ideas that Governor Lee and Commissioner Schwinn have in mind moving forward… Just not knowing the direction that things may go is challenging for us all, it’s a concern.”
She said this is an opportunity given by the state for families and school leaders of the Upper Cumberland to have their voice heard.
“I do hope that our local elected officials in Jackson County and surrounding areas take note and come and hear what’s going on with it,” Brown said. “Of course directors of schools, parents. I think it’s important to get as many groups and voices out about this as we can.”
The town hall will feature a brief introduction from the department of education, respective co-host, and then dive into comments and feedback from in-person audience members.