FILE - Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (Feb. 2022)

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee unveiled long-awaited legislation Thursday to create a new public school funding formula.

The formula, called the Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement (TISA), is a student-based funding formula and would replace the Basic Education Program (BEP) school district-based funding plan.

Lee and Department of Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn said school districts would receive more funding than they currently receive if enrollment in a public school remains the same, starting in the 2023-24 school year.

“Our goal has been to take what has been a cumbersome and outdated BEP formula and create a model that supports, in a transparent way, students in our state,” Lee said.

The governor said the state would add $1 billion to funding TISA and, in total between state and local funds, there would be $9 billion in public education funding, starting in the 2024 fiscal year.

The additional funding would not be placed into the BEP for next school year, however. Lee has proposed using the funds next fiscal year for career and technical education improvements in all high schools and middle schools ($500 million), moving 14 public schools out of flood plains ($200 million) and grants ($50 million).

If $1 billion were added to the BEP formula for next fiscal year, about 25% of school districts would have to raise local taxes in order to meet the local funding match requirement in the formula.

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