NASHVILLE – The leaders of the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) are commending the passage today of the Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement (TISA). 

“Tennessee has taken a major step forward in supporting students by passing legislation to create a much-needed modern K-12 education funding system,” said Senator Bill Frist, the founder and chairman of SCORE. “For more than a decade, Tennessee has been a national leader in improving academic achievement by focusing on what is best for students, and TISA will accelerate those efforts by providing extra funding for students who need more help to meet our state’s high academic expectations. This historic investment in Tennessee children will use a new student-weighted formula to send additional funding to help students across the span of their education, from learning to read to preparing for college and careers. We believe TISA will be a game-changer for students in Tennessee public schools.” 

SCORE has been advocating for a modern formula to replace the 30-year-old Basic Education Program (BEP) and spent more than a year of research on the issue of using education funding to improve student academic outcomes. The nonprofit education policy and advocacy group released a detailed report on the history and inadequacies of the BEP in 2021 and followed up in January 2022 with a set of recommendations for a new formula. 

“We supported TISA because it follows the evidence about how funding can be used to help schools and communities meet the unique learning needs of every student,” SCORE President and CEO David Mansouri said. “The additional state funding from TISA will help students in so many ways as districts invest the money to address achievement gaps, provide intensive early literacy support, and better support students living in rural communities or concentrated poverty. TISA also will improve reporting and transparency, so that we have confidence in our strategy and information about how to continually improve. We applaud Governor Lee for leading on this critical issue, Commissioner Schwinn for her engagement with stakeholders across the state, and the General Assembly for its thoughtful debate and decisive vote.” 

After the bill is signed by Governor Lee, the funding formula will take effect for the 2023-24 school year.