NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The battle over public school funding and expansion of charter schools is continuing at the Tennessee Capitol.
Lawmakers are expected to move a number of education-related bills in the upcoming weeks including bills backing the governor’s agenda. But there is growing backlash and frustration over many of the proposals.
However, Republicans in charge are not closing the door on Gov. Bill Lee’s education changes.
“I am supporting the bill because it’s good for Tennessee and it’s good for my district,” said Sen. Ken Yager, Senate Republican Caucus chair.
But with Lee’s education spending rewrite, already some cities are trying to figure out how they’re going to match state funds.
“The local financial responsibility is certainly an issue and obviously when I met with a room full of mayors, I got those questions,” Yager said.
Nashville’s Mayor John Cooper said his city will receive $12.6 million in additional funds, “far less” than other localities.
Throughout the conversation surrounding public school education members of many different communities are coming together to make sure dollars are going where they are needed.
“We need to continue to let our educators make the decisions that will allow all children of all backgrounds to see themselves in what they learn and read,” teacher Paula Pendergrass said.
“This is about removing local control that is what it’s about a few parents representing all, it doesn’t work that way I live here, they don’t represent me,” said Emily Masters, Nashville Public Schools school board member.
And community members are speaking out against Republican plans to ban books, rewrite education funding, and make it easier for charter schools to come into the state.
“I think it’s time for people to actually take a step back and look seriously at all of the pieces of this education agenda and recognize just how radical that agenda is and how much damage it could do,” said Sen. Jeff Yarbro (D-Nashville).
Lee’s proposal brings some charter school funding outside of the BEP into his new formula. Overall, Lee is proposing around $9 billion for education funding over the next few years.