Crafton builds council coalition to sue state

Monday, March 8, 2010 at 9:15pm
Staff reports

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?”


13 Comments on this post:

By: dogmrb on 3/8/10 at 10:24

How about a little more information: like who are the 30?

By: geekinstein on 3/8/10 at 11:38

Seems like the courts found Davidson collected a disproportionate amount of tax from residents of rural counties, so much that they could not fund schools in those counties.

Still folks need to get productive and so many are out of work. Wonder why Dean didn't think of this investment to simulate the legal and court economy? Is this another Crafton stimulus package?

By: idgaf on 3/9/10 at 4:02

Shaking my head at Crafton and the council.

He/they are city officials and it sounds like they will have no standing as they/we have suffered no harm.

These people are really getting arrogant that they want to run the state.

Time to reduce the size of the council to at least under 10.

Crafton just lost my vote for court clerk.

By: TITAN1 on 3/9/10 at 6:06

What an embarrassment this clown Crafton is.

By: bfra on 3/9/10 at 6:39

T1 - No more than your ravings and support for a thug like spitman!

By: Anna3 on 3/9/10 at 7:40

Igdaf, Titan1 et both are letting your personal dislike for Crafton show! I am constantly amazed by how he gets under your skin! Get a life. Surely you can put the welfare of our kids first for once. Nashville must spend 2/3rds of our sales tax receipts on our schools...far beyond the 50% other counties spend because this "Robin Hood" funding scheme the state uses greatly favors rural counties. And..guess what? We are unable to change things legislatively because the rural counties have the "Numbers" to out vote us. ANY FORMULA that sets Williamson County up as a poor county is fundementally flawed. How can you stand by and watch the taxpayers of Nashville subsidize Williamson County Schools to the tune of $$$125 Million Dollars each and every year??? Get off of whatever you two are smokin' and get with the team. If 30 Metro Council members AGREE on ANYTHING, you have to give major props to Eric Crafton for putting it together....thats a major feat. 30 Council Members signing off on this show me that universal agreement exists on the fact that this system is patently UNFAIR to us the voters, us the taxpayers, and us parents. Crafton deserves credit once again for his leadeship and vision when NO ONE ELSE had the vision or motivation to do something about this inequity. Crafton's got my vote because he's looking out for me and my kids! What's your true agenda?

By: Funditto on 3/9/10 at 7:46

I agree ID! Crapton is out of control and makes the whole bunch look bad. Reduce the number on the council. It's like herding cats.

By: SirKnight on 3/9/10 at 8:25

Funditto, How is Eric Crafton out of control?? Is he breaking some rules somewhere? And explain to us how he makes "the whole bunch" (Nashville City Council, I presume?) look 'bad'? Are you that concerned that some people's images will be hurt by his actions?

He's clearly shown he is willing to take chances and stand up for what he believes in. He's not afraid what his antagonists say and is willing to put things up for public referendum. If he fails, he fails. But if he wins and the public agrees with him, then WE ALL WIN, don't we? I may not agree with everything he says or does, but he epitomizes the word LEADER in every sense.

Funditto, Idgaf, Titan1 and others....Either lead, follow or get out of the way!

By: TITAN1 on 3/9/10 at 8:35

I just had a bad thought. He will probably wind up on Fox & Friends national show like he did when he was pushing his English only bill. Looked like a fool then, too.

By: BellevueBill on 3/9/10 at 9:11

On this issue, I agree with Crafton.

I'm sick of what I call neighborhood arbitrage. An example of this is Anna3's comment.


By: Alphadog7 on 3/9/10 at 11:50

Anna3 is right on. I am with Crafton and the majority on this. Nice work.

By: gruntz on 3/9/10 at 12:54

Thanks Anna3 for your analysis. I wasn't sure what to think about this issue until I read your post. I agree with you and must say that Crafton is showing leadership even if I don't agree with him all the time. TITAN1's and funditto's name calling didn't tell me anything. Let me ask a question: Why does the money have to flow to the state and then back to the counties? That seems a strange way to run things. Thanks again!

By: Anna3 on 3/9/10 at 2:37

gruntz thanks for the support! The money flows the way it does because of State Law and the historic "Small schools" lawsuit...which set the funding formula as it is in the first place. It needs to be revisited...because any formula that puts Williamson County on the "Poor" schools list is fatally flawed. I appreciate Eric Crafton because he's actually doing something to help. I applaud his effort because he obviously can build a coalition. I dont think that one could get 30 Council Members to agree with the phrase "I Like Ice Cream" in these times...but Crafton did it.