Metro Councilman Eric Crafton wants more state funding for Metro schools, and he has built a coalition of 30 council members to join his fight.
The only option, according to Crafton, is for Metro to sue state government and force officials to change how the state distributes funds. The Basic Education Plan, or BEP, uses a county’s fiscal capacity, measured primarily by property values and sales tax collections to determine funding.
Under the BEP formula, Tennessee’s smaller rural counties rely on greater proportions of state dollars for school funding than larger counties. On average, the state spends $2,523 on each MNPS student, compared with $3,988 on the average Tennessee student, according to recent figures.
At a news conference Monday afternoon, Crafton presented Mayor Karl Dean and Metro legal director Sue Cain with a letter signed by more than 30 council members. He asked them to take the lead and present the letter to the Davidson County delegation.
“I think a strong showing of united support will paint a picture for the public, which will demonstrate how truly important correcting this failing state education funding process is to the future of our city and our children,” Crafton said. “I think it is extremely reasonable for us to ask the state to value each child equally, not favoring one group of children over another simply because of where they live, don’t you?”