KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The formula for distributing education funding to Tennessee’s public schools will be up to 18 subcommittees with members comprising of district and school leaders, higher education partners, elected officials, business leaders, families, education stakeholders and members of the public.

The Tennessee Department of Education announced Tuesday the subcommittees will be overseen by the central steering committee. The goal of the steering committee will be to engage with the department and explore a student-centered investment strategy for the state’s education funding formula over the next several months.

On Friday, Oct. 8, Gov. Bill Lee announced a full review of the state’s basic education program formula for public education. Lee said he wants the focus on a student investment strategy that emphasizes all students rather than systems, empowers parents to engage in their child’s education and outcomes, ensures all students are prepared for postsecondary success, and reflects Tennesseans’ values.

“In the coming months, we will hear from Tennessee parents, teachers and community leaders as we pursue a student-focused approach to public education,” Lee said. “More than 500 Tennesseans have already stepped up to share their ideas, and we look forward to a statewide discussion about strengthening K-12 education and preparing Tennessee students for success in the classroom and beyond.”

Members of the public can fill out a form to join in the process. You can also get involved through the TDOE website.

“Our students are the future of Tennessee and now is the time to have a serious conversation about the ways in which we can strategically invest in them,” said Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “It is essential that we include those who will be impacted most by these conversations and keep our students front and center as we explore a new funding strategy.”

The 18 subcommittees are:

  • Student Engagement Subcommittee 
  • Students with Disabilities and Gifted Students Subcommittee 
  • English Learner Subcommittee 
  • Economically Disadvantaged and Highly Mobile Students Subcommittee 
  • Parent Choice and Voice Subcommittee 
  • Teacher Advisory Subcommittee 
  • Principal Advisory Subcommittee 
  • School System Personnel Subcommittee 
  • School System Leadership Subcommittee 
  • Rural and Small District Subcommittee 
  • Suburban Districts, Municipals, and Fast-Growing Communities Subcommittee 
  • Urban District Subcommittee 
  • Higher Education and Post-Secondary Readiness Subcommittee 
  • Post-Secondary Readiness and the Business Community Subcommittee 
  • Chambers of Commerce and Industry Subcommittee 
  • Education Foundations Subcommittee 
  • Regional Collectives and Advocacy Subcommittee 
  • Fiscal Responsibility Subcommittee

The subcommittees will meet twice a month, either in person or virtually, for the next three months. All associated committee meeting materials, including recordings and minutes, will be posted here. Subcommittee members will be released in the coming days.

TDOE will also have a committee of national experts, regional meetings of county commissioners and school board members, public engagement representatives, and an opportunity for public comment through a formal survey later in the fall.