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100+ Local Leaders Endorse TISA –

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s new student-based funding formula, called the Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement formula (TISA), is gaining widespread support from more than 100 local leaders and stakeholders across the state.
“The most important part of preparing our state for future growth is improving public education for every child in Tennessee,” said Gov. Lee. “For the first time in 30 years, we have a unique opportunity to replace Tennessee’s outdated K-12 funding formula with a modern, student-focused approach, and we are honored to have strong support from countless local leaders who agree the time is now.”
“Thanks to thousands of Tennesseans sharing their hopes and dreams for the future of public education in our state, the proposed student-based public school funding formula, the TISA, is reflective of Tennessee’s values and focuses on the needs of each individual student,” said Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “Tennessee has an historic opportunity to transform the way we fund public schools and put the future of our students first with the Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement.”
Over 100 local leaders and stakeholders – including county mayors, school district directors, chambers of commerce, non-profits, and more – have agreed to share their support:
Additionally, education stakeholders and organizations have shared statements and letters of support for the TISA:
“TISA…offers a new path with the potential to change students’ lives for the better. Missing the opportunity to do something significant this year would be a shame. Lawmakers should ask hard questions and seek equity for all school districts across Tennessee. This landmark legislation is a good step in that direction.” -The Tennessean Editorial Board
“’After much analysis of the plan, and speaking with business leaders across the state, we are confident this is the right step for our education system,’ said Chamber President and CEO, Bradley Jackson. ‘In addition to providing a student-tailored and transparent K-12 school funding mechanism, TISA also provides new funding for strengthening career and technical (CTE) programming and a career centered emphasis that are extremely important to the Chamber’s workforce/education efforts.’” -Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry
“In announcing the organization’s support for TISA, Roundtable President Pat Sheehy noted that the plan’s provisions respond to several of the Tennessee business community’s strategic education priorities. ‘In reviewing the TISA proposal, our business leaders asked themselves, ‘Will this improve student outcomes? Will this improve equity for all Tennessee students? Will this improve Tennessee’s workforce? Is now the right time for funding reform?’ In every case, we concluded that the answer for TISA was yes,’ said Sheehy.” -Tennessee Business Roundtable
“We are proud to be partners with Governor Lee and Commissioner Penny Schwinn as they strengthen Tennessee’s education system by creating policies that empower parents, support students, and enable educators. And by making early literacy a priority, Governor Lee is creating a strong foundation for all Tennessee students by making vital strides toward the critical goal of ensuring all students are reading at a young age, and on path toward future academic success.” -Jeb Bush, Founder and Chairman, ExcelinEd in Action
“We believe the student-centered approach in the new TISA funding formula, which provides even greater funding for economically disadvantaged students, those with unique learning needs, English Language learners, among others, will have a direct and positive impact on those students and our educators, leading to better educational outcomes for all Tennessee students.” – Victor Evans, Executive Director, TennesseeCAN;  John Patton, Tennessee State Director, American Federation for Children
“This approach is a vast improvement for two key reasons: transparency and accountability. First, everyone — parents, educators, and taxpayers alike — can easily understand how much we are spending on each child’s education, a far cry from the current model. This transparency alone will improve educational outcomes, because when we know how much we spend and on what, we can demand more accountability.” -Justin Owen, President and CEO, Beacon Center of Tennessee
“The Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement proposal to modernize the way we fund every Tennessee public school student represents a desire to improve outcomes for students across the state and from a variety of backgrounds. As we take time to fully analyze this proposal and hold discussions with lawmakers, education leaders, teachers, and parents, we also recognize that now is the time for action. We believe delaying or disengaging in this discussion any longer impedes a generational opportunity to positively impact millions of students.”Tennesseans for Student Success
“Gov. Lee and Commissioner Schwinn’s education funding plan will improve the state’s education system by ensuring funding is more student-centered. This bold proposal ensures that the quality of education in the state improves, schools are better funded and educators are better supported.” -Patricia Levesque, Executive Director, ExcelinEd in Action
“The proposed Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement (TISA) formula would increase recurring K-12 education funding by $1 billion and creates a strong, student-weighted funding approach that directs more resources to students with unique learning needs, students who are economically disadvantaged, and students living in communities that are rural or have     concentrated poverty.” -State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE)
“We applaud the new TISA’s student-centered approach that recognizes and supports the unique needs of Tennessee students. Alongside the additional $1 billion in funding for public education, this is a big win for Tennessee children and vital to building a better foundation for educational success.” -Tennesseans for Quality Early Education
“….Policymakers are on the right path to adopting a more fair, transparent and flexible school finance system. With the state experiencing a hefty budget surplus, legislators have a historic opportunity in 2022 to make students the focus of Tennessee’s funding strategy for K-12 education. This would be a win for kids, educators and taxpayers.” -Reason Foundation
To learn more about the TISA and access additional resources, visit the Tennessee Department of Education’s website.


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