Supporters of disabilities are concerned about the new funding program for the school in Tennessee

Some disability advocates are concerned that Tennessee’s new funding formula could incentivize school districts to identify more students with disabilities or even adversely affect the services these students receive.

In a letter sent to members of the Senate Education Committee on Monday, the Tennessee Disability Coalition raised concerns that student-based allocations, or weights, in the new formula “as proposed will encourage schools to choose a more restrictive environment for their students. Disabilities.”

The Tennessee investment in student achievement, the new formula unveiled by Governor Bill Lee and Education Commissioner Penny Schwein last month, provides a fixed amount of funding per student as well as $ 1.8 billion divided by student weights, or subgroups.

Schools can receive additional funding from $ 1,029 to $ 10,290 for students with one of ten unique learning needs, including disabilities.

Teacher Hailey Blankenship is working with one of her students at Harris-Hillman School on Thursday, September 17, 2020 in Nashville, TN.  Harris-Hillman School provides services to students with disabilities.

“Building weights for students with disabilities (or unique learning needs) is of great concern to the disabled community,” Jeff Strand, the coalition’s administration and foreign affairs coordinator, wrote in a letter also sent to the Tennessee Department. Of education last week.

Strand argues that TISA uses the same special education classification options as the state’s current funding formula, the Basic Education Program (BEP), which state officials said they would improve.

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