Nashville, TN

Nashville Activist Group Hosting School Funding Forum

Advocate Andy

Nashville Organized for Action and Hope (NOAH) will be hosting a school funding town hall on Monday, December 6th at 5:30 PM at Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church.

Here’s more from NOAH on the planned event, which will include Commissioner of Education Penny Schwinn:

The Tennessee Department of Education has been holding Town Hall meetings statewide about revising the 30-year-old BEP (Basic Education Plan) that funds education. At these town halls, parents, education leaders, and community members have called for increased funding overall, as well as for specific programs. Until now, no town hall had been held in Nashville. On Dec. 6, Commissioner Penny Schwinn will hear from parents, teachers, and community members about Nashville’s need for a bigger “pie” of funding.

NOAH and the Tennessee Alliance for Equity in Education have both been active in organizing to improve education in Tennessee – with NOAH advocating for increased funding from Metro government to break the “school-to-prison pipeline” by reducing suspensions. In August, NOAH and our sister organizations, MICAH in Memphis and CALEB in Chattanooga held a statewide “Day of Power and Prayer” to highlight the urgent needs of students and to call for increased BEP funding. The Tennessee Alliance for Equity in Education works to expand excellence and equity in education from preschool through college, increase college access and completion particularly for historically underserved students, engage diverse communities dedicated to education equity, and increase political and public will to act on equity issues. Both organizations realize that in Tennessee, the major solution to education funding lies at the state level.

Currently, Tennessee ranks 46th nationally in education spending. Sadly, we spend more to incarcerate adults than we do to educate our children. At the Dec. 6th Town Hall, NOAH will be outlining the need for MORE FUNDING for:

• Classroom Technology, a need across the state.

• Lower Student/Teacher Ratios, recognized nationally as improving student learning.

• Professional Development for Teachers, so teachers can teach a wide range of students and address student needs with the best available training.

• Social Worker, School Counselor, and Nurse ratios that mirror national recommendations, which will support health and safety and reduce suspensions.

• The specific needs of low-income students, English learners, and students with disabilities. We must not simply “re-slice” the funding pie. Tennessee has a $2 billion surplus – yet we are starving our school systems! There are no frugal shortcuts to improving education in Tennessee. Our actions will show if we truly value our children — by investing more in our children and the future of Tennessee.

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN

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