PIE Network Members And Partners Celebrate Tennesee’s Investments In Students 

Tennessee policymakers and advocates are celebrating historic legislation, as Governor Lee signed the Tennessee Investment for Student Achievement (TISA) into law. The new law replaces the state’s Basic Education Program, which was passed in 1992. Below are links and excerpts from PIE Network members and partners on the passage of the new law as well as news coverage. 

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Statements from Members and Partners

  • Memphis Lift: “The Memphis Lift has publicly supported TISA because we believe it will fund Memphis Shelby County students based on need and not attendance. Our children don’t have time to wait anymore and we are pleased to see that change is on the way! Now, we want to make sure through the rule-making process that TISA is executed properly and to hold TDOE and our districts accountable for its implementation.” — Sarah Carpenter, Executive Director of Memphis Lift.
  • Tennesseans for Student Success: “The gravity of this historic moment should not be lost on any Tennessean. For the first time in our state’s history, public school students will have a funding formula that’s centered around them and responsive to their needs rather than an antiquated formula that distributes funds to schools and districts unfairly.” — Adam Lister, President and CEO of Tennesseans for Student Success.
  • Tennessee Charter School Center: “Thank you @GovBillLee, @SchwinnTeach, and our outstanding legislative leaders for Tennessee’s new student-centered funding formula, your bold new investments in K-12 education, and for ensuring public charter schools and students are valued and supported. #TISA #TNCharters
  • TennesseeCAN:
    •  “Historic moment today at @wcsFHS for the bill signing of TISA. Thank you @GovBillLee, Commissioner @SchwinnTeach, and to our legislative leaders for this investment in the students of our great state #ItsTimeForTISA
    • At its core, TISA–The Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement–is about moving on from an outdated funding formula that was about adults, with schools funded based on the size of their teaching staff.” — TennesseeCAN Executive Director Victor Evans
  • Tennessee SCORE: “The opportunity to better help each Tennessee student meet our high academic expectations is what matters about the creation and passage of TISA. Right now, statewide assessment shows only half of students are at grade level. What matters going forward is ensuring that we realize the potential of this modern, student-focused education funding formula to better serve all children and prepare them for success in college, career, and life.

    SCORE has advocated for funding reform and most recently supported TISA for many reasons, but one that our team feels especially passionate about is making the systemic changes that can support the students with the greatest learning needs.” — David Mansouri, President and CEO of SCORE.
  • The Education Trust in Tennessee: “Tennessee’s K-12 funding formula has always been about more than allocating dollars for education: it’s about our shared values and meeting the needs of our students and schools. We celebrate the signing of the Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement formula and are grateful to the General Assembly for passing this critical legislation. We all know that this moment is historic; but now we must ensure that the student-weighted formula delivers on its promises to schools and students. TISA helps Tennessee take a necessary step to address the inequities that persist within our education system – especially those faced by students living in poverty, students with disabilities, students learning English, and students in our rural communities. While Tennesseans have much to celebrate, there is important work still to do. We remain committed to ensuring that the voices of our diverse communities are heard as rulemaking gets underway, and as the formula is implemented in the coming years.”
  • ExcelinEd: ​​“This student-centered education funding plan treats all students more fairly and incentivizes student success. It gives schools greater freedom to innovate and parents greater freedom to choose the school that can best serve their children—all while prioritizing education outcomes. I applaud Gov. Lee, Commissioner Penny Schwinn and the Tennessee General Assembly for their collaboration and support of a forward-looking education funding plan that keeps students, families and educators at the center of it all.”

News Coverage

Elissa Rabin

Elissa Rabin

Policy Analyst