Governor Bill Lee said he expects the legislature to hold BEP Funding steady this year.
Basic Education Funding provides a large percentage of school revenues annually. Upper Cumberland School Districts have been concerned that students moved to home schooling this year because of COVID might impact state funding negatively.
“I think you will find the same desire for the legislature to move toward some level of holding schools harmless, recognizing this is a very unusual year,” Lee told News Talk 94.1. “We don’t need to be looking at funding formula changes in the midst of, you know, such such changes in enrollment and in and in school attendance.”
Last week, Lee asked the legislature to hold systems harmless for state testing this year – instead to focus on conducting the testing and seeing just how much learning has been lost during COVID. The legislature will take up the issue when the session begins in 2021.
“There will be a number of things that we need to look at from an education standpoint,” Lee said. “There’ll be a lot of what we do in my administration and in the legislation as we were in the legislature as we work together this year will be around education, you know, literacy, learning loss and how we make up for that, supporting teachers through very unusual circumstances, making sure funding streams are appropriate.”
Several local districts have passed resolutions urging the legislature to not change BEP funding during the pandemic.