Tennessee Department of Education Releases TISA Act Rules

On Monday, the Tennessee Department of Education released additional information regarding the Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement Act. The TISA Act is a new education funding formula set to replace the 30-year-old Basic Education Program. Lawmakers extensively debated the merits and shortcomings of the new formula in this year’s legislative session, ultimately passing the legislation, which will go into effect in the 2023-2024 school year. 

When the legislation passed, there were still outstanding questions about specific aspects of the funding formula that were set to be addressed in the rulemaking process. The TISA Act is a student-based model that funds districts based on their students. Each student gets a base funding amount of $6,860, with additional dollars included if they qualify for weights or direct funding.

The rules released yesterday provide more information about which students and districts are eligible for additional funding, and how much. The rules define, for example, how the size of a district may impact its state funding and which students will receive weighted funding based on their unique learning needs. English learners, low-income students and those with learning disabilities are among the groups who will receive weighted funding. Since the TISA Act was released, education stakeholders have expressed concern about how the state may define and allocate funds to each group.

Public comment on the TISA Act’s rules is open until Tuesday, Aug. 2. Comments can be emailed to Tisa.Rules@tn.gov or mailed to: 

Tennessee Department of Education, Andrew Johnson Tower, 9th Floor 

710 James Robertson Pkwy, Nashville, TN  37243 

ATTN: TISA Rules 

There will also be an opportunity to provide feedback at a rulemaking hearing, though further details have not yet been provided.

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