May 5, 2022
This week, Governor Bill Lee signed the Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement Act (TISA) into law at a signing ceremony held at his alma mater, Franklin High School. The event culminates momentous efforts by the bill sponsors, committee members and chairs, Tennessee Department of Education, and the Governor’s Office. The bi-partisan efforts displayed in the preceding months have been invaluable to the advancement of student support and achievement in Tennessee.
We celebrate sponsors, Rep. White and Rep. Lamberth in their undaunted introductions to numerous House committees and subcommittees. The testimony and discussion involved were monumental in advancing this legislation. In the Senate, Sen. Johnson introduced the bill to positive reception at both the Education Committee and the Finance, Ways, and Means Committee. Also notable, was the leadership of the Senate Finance Ways and Means Chair, Sen. Watson, as he facilitated crucial testimony including the Sycamore Institute.
Previously, TSS Blog highlighted the six-month school funding feedback process involving thousands of Tennesseans, including parents, teachers, administrators, and numerous advocacy groups. TISA will infuse an additional 1 billion dollars in school funding through a new student-based funding formula, to meet the needs of all students.
TISA will require less local spending than the previous funding formula. TISA brings more robust funding for economically disadvantaged student, and students with unique learning and English language needs. Funding flexibility and additional accountability measures will empower local administrators spend funds to best meet the needs of the students they serve.
TISA funding will go into effect for the 2023-2024 school year. During the TISA signing ceremony, the department explained that dates and timelines are being discussed this week as they transition into the rulemaking process with the state board. School districts can expect funding projections early next year. TSS will follow the rulemaking process in the coming months and share these much-anticipated next steps in implementation of this historic investment.