Recapping Tennessee’s historic school finance reform

In Politics by Michael Rae

In Oct. 2021, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn kicked off a 90-day public engagement process to study and replace the state’s 30-year-old education funding system. Six months later, Gov. Lee signed the Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement (TISA) act into law. 

Before the spring of 2022, 1992 marked the last time Tennessee had implemented a major K-12 education finance overhaul when the state adopted the Basic Education Program (BEP) funding formula. The BEP employed a complex formula with 47 funding components and was a resource-based formula, meaning it mainly allocated education dollars to school districts based on