Nashville school board votes to join Shelby County in school funding lawsuit

The Metro Nashville Public Schools board voted Tuesday night to join Shelby County’s schools in a lawsuit seeking more state education funds, reports The Tennessean.

The motion to join Shelby County Schools in the district’s ongoing litigation for increased education funds passed with a 7-0 vote by the Nashville school board. Two board members were absent — Sharon Gentry and Mary Pierce.

…The Shelby County Schools lawsuit, filed Aug. 2015, has been a longstanding topic of conversation for the Nashville schools board, but with no action. Seven Hamilton County-area districts have also sued the state for more education funding.

The suit is focused on the Basic Education Program, or a funding formula commonly called the BEP, and whether the state is providing enough to Tennessee districts to teach students.

…The Nashville board has also sued the state, in 2016, for increased English-language learner student funding. The suit asked the judiciary branch to compel the state to pay the amount listed in its Basic Education Formula formula for students who are learning English.

The Nashville board lost its lawsuit in an appeals court. Attorneys for the state argued that previous education funding lawsuits allowed the state time to phase in the proper funding amount and the legislature has the final say on the funding.

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