Tennessee Democrats seek to address 'broken' education funding formula through flurry of bills

The Capitol building in Nashville is home to the Tennessee General Assembly. / Photo by Marta W. Aldrich/Chalkbeat

"Tennessee Democrats seek to address 'broken' education funding formula through flurry of bills" was originally published by Chalkbeat, a nonprofit news organization covering public education. Sign up for their newsletters here: chalkbeat.org/pages/newsletters.

Calling the state's system for funding public education broken, Tennessee Democrats on Thursday urged the legislature to fix it and make a major investment that would hire more school-based nurses, counselors, and social workers.

They also proposed boosting funding toward teacher salaries, reducing class sizes in high-need elementary schools, developing grants for special education and increasing the number of specialists to work with struggling students.

"We are in a crisis situation," said Sen. Raumesh Akbari of Memphis, who chairs the Senate Democratic caucus. "It's depriving our students of the resources that they need to be successful, and it's driving teacher shortages."

Democrats