2022 Legislative Priorities

Education Funding Formula – T.C.A. 49-3-307

Memphis Education Fund (MEF) supports the current effort to develop a new education funding formula. Tennessee stands at a unique opportunity to create a student-centered funding model that will account for the unique and varied needs of its students. The new formula should include support for resources like school nurses, counselors, and social workers as well as specialized needs for English Language Learners, students with disabilities and social-emotional learning.

MEF supports a substantial increase to state dollars allocated for public education - an increase to $17,000 - $18,000 would place Tennessee at the “A” level according to the Education Law Center.1

State Charter School Commission – T.C.A 49-13-105

MEF applauds the General Assembly on its approval of the State Charter School Commission. We request that the General Assembly strengthen the authority of the Commission to authorize high quality schools.

Achievement School District Transition – T.C.A 49-1-614(k)

MEF supports the return of ASD schools back to local education agencies or high-quality charter operators authorized by the Charter School Commission. To optimize success, we fully endorse transitions with full funding and low-cost school facilities.

As the Department of Education seeks to reorganize the ASD, MEF asks that the General Assembly enact supporting legislation as needed to ensure that local education agencies and charter management operators can create transition plans that are designed to address the specific needs of students and the community.

Charter School Facilities – T.C.A. 49-13-136

MEF urges the General Assembly to enact legislation that clarifies charter school operators’ right to purchase low-cost facilities from local education agencies.

MEF supports inclusion of a “facility” component in the new education funding formula that reflects facilities cost.

Teacher Recruitment & Retention – T.C.A 46-3-306

According to the National Education Association, Tennessee ranks 7th out of 12 of the Southeastern states in average instructional salary and ranks 41st nationally.2 MEF urges the General Assembly to strengthen the recruitment and retention of teachers by enacting legislation that increases teacher salaries to levels competitive to neighboring states.

Future Legislative Policy Item - 21st Century Calendar – T.C.A. 49-6-3004

State funding support for districts with extended calendars reducing the need for districts to seek additional outside funding.

https://edlawcenter.org/research/making-the-grade-2021.html
https://www.nea.org/sites/default/files/2021-04/2021%20Rankings_and_Estimates_Report.pdf