TDOE Announces 12 Members Of Steering Committee To Discuss Student-Focused Funding Strategy For Public Education

Monday, October 18, 2021
The Tennessee Department of Education announced on Monday the members of the central steering committee to look at a student-focused funding strategy for K-12 education, comprised of 12 leaders representing the state’s elected officials and agencies directly connected with K-12 public education in Tennessee. The members of the central steering committee will review input and feedback from the 18 subcommittees and the general public on how to create a student-focused investment strategy reflective of Tennessee’s values to best support students.
 
On Friday, Oct.
8, Governor Lee called for a full review of the state’s funding formula for public education to 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.
 
"I am thankful for our state’s strong leadership among policymakers in exploring a student-focused funding strategy to emphasize the needs of all Tennessee students over systems,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “We are grateful for this opportunity to have open conversations with all stakeholders connected to education in our state and welcome all Tennesseans to join the conversation.”
 
The 12 members of the funding review central steering committee are:   

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee 
Commissioner Penny Schwinn, Tennessee Department of Education 
Commissioner Butch Eley, Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration 
Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson 
House Majority Leader William Lamberth 
Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Ferrell Haile 
Senate Education Chairman Brian Kelsey 
House Education Administration Chairman Mark White 
House Education Instruction Chairlady Debra Moody 
House Education Administration K-12 Subcommittee Chairman Kirk Haston 
Senate Finance, Ways, and Means Chairman Bo Watson 
House Finance, Ways, and Means Chairlady Patsy Hazlewood
 
“It is critical that we are thoughtful, intentional, and focused on our students as we consider how to best invest in education,” said Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson. “These critical decisions call for Tennesseans across the state to get involved and have their voice heard. These committees are an important part of this initiative, and I am excited to learn from their work."
 
“Investing in public education excellence builds thriving communities, a prosperous economy and a successful workforce,” said House Majority Leader William Lamberth. “These committees will provide a platform for all Tennesseans to engage and make their voices heard on this significant investment. I am eager to learn more from those who know our education system the best: parents, students, teachers, local leaders, and community advocates.”
 
“I am eager to join with leaders, educators, parents, and students from across the state to explore strategies for increasing transparency and our focus on individual students in our education funding strategies,” said Senate Education Chairman Brian Kelsey. “This is an important conversation for our state, and I want to encourage all Tennesseans to get involved and make their voice heard.”
 
“The work of examining our state’s education funding strategy is a thing of great importance that requires the involvement of parents, educators, and leaders from across the state,” said House Education Administration Chairman Mark White. “I believe that the work of these committees will greatly inform our efforts in the Tennessee General Assembly, and I am excited to partner with my fellow Tennesseans in this critical conversation."
 
“State education funding is complex and challenging. We need to examine all the possibilities, look at ways in which we can improve the use of taxpayer dollars, involve and listen to stakeholders, and strengthen our funding mechanism statewide so that tax dollars reach the classroom,” said House Education Instruction Chairlady Debra Moody. “I look forward to hearing the discussion, understanding that difficult conversations come with divergent opinions. In the end, we must get education funding right.”
 
“Our schools and districts vary greatly across the state, just like each student’s unique talents and needs,” said House Education K-12 Subcommittee Chairman Kirk Haston. “The work of the committees announced today will encompass the diversity of this great state and the communities that come together in support of our students. As we think about new ways to invest in our students, I am excited for our neighbors, educators, students, families, and leaders to have their voice heard on this important issue.”
 
“This conversation is timely as we think about how to innovate on behalf of our students,” said Senate Finance, Ways, and Means Chairman Bo Watson. “Everything we do in education and workforce development starts with the investments that we make in our students. I am excited for the work of the of the steering committee and subcommittees to commence, and I am excited for Tennesseans across the state to be involved in this important work."
 
“Our future workforce starts with our investment in today’s students. I am eager to join with Tennesseans from across the state as we consider funding strategies that will drive academic success for all Tennessee students," said House Finance, Ways, and Means Chairlady Patsy Hazlewood.
 
The state’s engagement includes the central steering committee and 18 subcommittees, in addition to 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. Each of the 18 subcommittees, composed of 8-10 members, will be led by a chair who is tasked with capturing ideas and feedback based in the unique perspective of the stakeholder group or respective topic area they serve. Each chair is a trusted advocate to responsibly collect and share feedback and suggestions for a student-based funding approach.
 
Over the next three months, the subcommittees will meet twice a month, either in person or virtually. The central steering committee will convene monthly and review finalized feedback provided by the subcommittees. All associated committee meeting materials, including recordings, transcripts, and minutes, will be posted here. Subcommittee members will be released in the coming days.
 
Nearly 1,000 Tennesseans have already submitted their interest in engaging in discussions and receiving updates related to a student-centered investment strategy. Members of the public are encouraged to continue to submit their interest via this form.
 
Visit this webpage for more information and learn how to get involved: https://www.tn.gov/education/tnedufunding.

Brooks Receives Lee’s HIPSH Alum Of The Year Award

Nitz Named Lee School Of Music Alumnus Of The Year

Jones Named Lee School Of Business Alumnus Of The Year


Lee University’s Department of History, Political Science, and Humanities awarded Mayor Kevin Brooks (’90) the Department Alumnus of the Year Award. After graduating from Lee with a Bachelor ... (click for more)

The Lee University School of Music named Phil Nitz the 2021 Department Alumnus of the Year during Lee’s Homecoming celebrations. Mr. Nitz earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees from ... (click for more)

Lee University alum Taylor Jones was named the 2021 School of Business Department Alumnus of the Year award recipient. After graduating from Lee in 2010 with a degree in accounting and business ... (click for more)



Student Scene

Brooks Receives Lee’s HIPSH Alum Of The Year Award

Lee University’s Department of History, Political Science, and Humanities awarded Mayor Kevin Brooks (’90) the Department Alumnus of the Year Award. After graduating from Lee with a Bachelor of Science in history, Mayor Brooks worked in the President’s Office and later became the director of alumni relations at Lee. Mayor Brooks has a long history of serving the city of Cleveland. ... (click for more)

Nitz Named Lee School Of Music Alumnus Of The Year

The Lee University School of Music named Phil Nitz the 2021 Department Alumnus of the Year during Lee’s Homecoming celebrations. Mr. Nitz earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the Lee University School of Music. While at Lee, he was a member of the a cappella ensemble Voices of Lee, both as a singer and, eventually, as an arranger. He also taught a songwriting course ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Cherry Street Development Sells For $4.7 Million

A downtown development has sold for $4.7 million. The property at 701 Cherry Street had been redeveloped by Mike and Matt McGauley. The first Krystal restaurant was at that location at the southwest corner of Seventh and Cherry. Krystal built its headquarters at the site in 1952. The McGauleys later completely remodeled the three-story complex. The sale was from McGauley ... (click for more)

Harrison Home Damaged By Fire Friday Morning

A home in the Harrison area was damaged by fire Friday morning. The Highway 58 Fire Department was called to 8006 Turtle Lane around 9 a.m. to a fire coming from under a deck. Highway 58 Engine 42 was first to arrive and reported a working fire. A quick attack on the fire and securing the gas and electricity to the area was made, resulting in saving the home and containing ... (click for more)

Opinion

The I-75/I-24 Interchange Disaster - And Response (4)

We all waited a couple of years for the grand new interchange of I-75/I-24. Little did we know what a disaster it would become. To go right on 75 North, you must get in the left lanes. To go left to I-24, you must get in the right lanes, and that's where the deaths will occur. The overpass from the right lanes onto I-24 West has created a small mountain which brings the tractor ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The New Samaritan

The stranger at the door was shivering and cold. He asked to use the phone to summon an Uber driver. He was barefoot and said he was homeless, so Daniel Rider loaned him a coat so the man would get warm faster. As they talked, Rider even made him a sandwich. All the while the stranger was polite, cognizant and did not appear nervous or troubled. Then the police surrounded the house ... (click for more)