Education news. In context.
Are Children Learning
Future of Schools
Future of Teaching
Future of Work
In the Classroom
Movers and Shakers
Sorting the Students
The Other 60 Percent
Who Is in Charge
Find a Job
Republish Our Stories
Code of Ethics
Our News Partners
Work with Us
October 2, 2018
Here’s what school and district leaders have to say about Tennessee education
Of the 575 leaders who responded, none said that they thought Tennessee’s school funding formula should stay as it is.
September 25, 2018
After three years, the fight to spend more money on Tennessee schools inches toward trial
A Nashville judge turns back the state’s second attempt in three months to derail the lawsuit filed by districts in Memphis and Nashville.
July 25, 2018
In his final months as Tennessee governor, Haslam reflects on his education legacy
In a wide-ranging interview, the outgoing Republican governor talks about achievement gains, TNReady disappointments, pre-K challenges, and what's next.
Tennessee Votes 2018
July 9, 2018
Here’s how Tennessee’s Republican candidates for governor answer the big questions on education
Chalkbeat asked Republican candidates about their own educational experiences, the future of TNReady testing, whether to offer private school vouchers, and more.
Tennessee Votes 2018
July 9, 2018
Here’s where Tennessee’s Democratic candidates for governor stand on education
Chalkbeat asked the candidates about their own educational experiences, how they'd address TNReady testing challenges, pre-K expansion, and more.
Following the money
December 14, 2017
Tennessee school systems are getting the money they’re promised — more or less, state comptroller reports
This is the second year that the comptroller has reviewed state education spending to make sure school systems are getting the money they're supposed to.
November 7, 2017
McQueen wants teacher pay to go up and local costs to go down for Tennessee’s student intervention program
As Gov. Bill Haslam prepares the final budget of his administration, Education Commissioner Candice McQueen is asking to increase teacher pay for a third straight year.
October 18, 2017
Memphis just gained an important ally in its legal battle with Tennessee over school funding
The Nashville school board's decision to join litigation is good news for Shelby County Schools.
April 25, 2017
Tennessee has a $2 billion surplus. Here’s a new idea to invest more in schools.
About $250 million of this year’s surplus would go to create a new public education fund under a proposal by Rep. Craig Fitzhugh and Sen. Jeff Yarbro.
April 14, 2017
It’s past the halfway point at the Tennessee legislature. Here are proposals that still could change the state’s schools.
Less than half of the more than 150 separate proposals originally filed with the Tennessee General Assembly are still standing, on issues ranging from school discipline to turnaround.
Cracking the BEP
February 7, 2017
Stumped about Tennessee’s school funding formula? There’s now a calculator for that
The state comptroller's office unveils a tool for determining how much each school district should receive of the state’s $4.4 billion in BEP funding.
January 9, 2017
Here are four education issues to watch as Tennessee’s legislature kicks off
Tennessee lawmakers expect to revisit two perennial questions about school spending and vouchers during the 110th General Assembly, which starts this week.
January 5, 2017
Tennessee gets a C-minus for public education, and an F in school spending
Tennessee ranks 36th in public education and 46th in spending in Education Week’s annual Quality Counts report.
School bus safety
November 22, 2016
Fatal Tennessee school bus crash reopens conversation on the cost of seat belts
The legislature has turned back seat belt proposals twice in the last decade because of the price tag of retrofitting school buses.
November 8, 2016
Haslam plans to seek teacher pay boost for third straight year
Tennessee's governor says he'll seek a substantial increase for teacher pay, although not as much as the state could afford with its considerable surplus.
October 5, 2016
Tennessee doesn’t pay for enough teachers to meet its class size mandates, says state report
The state comptroller reports that school districts employ about 12,700 more educators than the state funds.
September 16, 2016
Does Tennessee have to follow its own school spending plan? Court prepares to weigh in
Attorneys for the state and Nashville face off on the funding question at a court hearing in Nashville.
September 8, 2016
States often get sued over school funding. Here’s what makes Tennessee stand out.
When it comes to providing adequate funding to educate students based on today’s standards, Tennessee isn’t coming close, say national experts.
August 25, 2016
How much is $200 million championed by Haslam for teacher raises boosting paychecks? It depends.
Tennessee districts have vastly different resources, and choose to invest their state funding in different ways.
Paper and pencils
August 5, 2016
Shelby County teachers are given $100 for classroom supplies. But that’s not nearly enough.
Many teachers say they spend anywhere from $400 to $1,000 annually out of their own pockets on classroom needs.
July 25, 2016
Deputy education commissioner to join Haslam’s senior policy team
Tennessee Deputy Education Commissioner Stephen Smith is Gov. Bill Haslam’s new senior adviser for policy and strategy.
July 22, 2016
State Board finalizes $200 million increase for Tennessee education
The State Board of Education finalizes $4.35 billion in funding allocations to K-12 districts for the 2016-17 school year, an increase of $200 million.
July 11, 2016
Tennessee affirms its school funding formula in response to lawsuit over Memphis schools
In its first response to a funding lawsuit filed last year by Shelby County Schools, the state denies that its funding model is to blame.
April 25, 2016
Overshadowed by TNReady, here’s what the legislature did on education this year
While a private tuition voucher bill fizzled and Gov. Haslam touted a K-12 funding increase as historic, problems with TNReady hovered over the Capitol like a cloud.
war of words
April 13, 2016
Proposed constitutional amendment to curb judicial power over Tennessee schools stumbles
Despite the backing of key legislative leaders, a proposed constitutional amendment designed to give the Tennessee legislature more power over education funding flounders.
April 11, 2016
Education spending boost a slam dunk in Tennessee House, but impact on individual districts unclear
The House unanimously passes a bill to increase funding for K-12 public education by more than $220 million.
April 4, 2016
Citing ‘dire’ budget situation for Shelby County Schools, Hopson rallies employees for funding
As budget season kicks off for Memphis schools, Superintendent Dorsey Hopson urges employees to advocate for increased funding from county and state governments.
March 23, 2016
What you need to know about the governor’s school funding plan
Along with a proposed increase of $261 million for education next year, Gov. Bill Haslam is proposing revisions to the state's school funding formula.
March 15, 2016
Lawmakers: Increase education spending, but keep courts out of school funding debate
State legislators pass a bill to increase funding for public education next year, while also voting for a constitutional amendment to give judges control over schools.
March 1, 2016
House education panel takes first step to amend state constitution over school funding
A House panel advances a resolution that would amend Tennessee’s constitution so courts likely could not order more education funding.
February 1, 2016
Haslam proposes $261 million more for K-12 education
Gov. Bill Haslam proposes new investments in teacher pay, technology, reading programs and high-need student populations.
February 1, 2016
Haslam expected to address education funding in State of the State speech
Entering office saying he wanted to be an "education governor," Bill Haslam is expected to continue that focus tonight when he delivers his annual address to lawmakers.
January 6, 2016
What you need to know on education as the 2016 legislature begins
Vouchers and school funding likely be the dominant education issues in 2016 before the Tennessee General Assembly.
December 1, 2015
With state revenues rebounding, will Tennessee see more education spending?
When Candice McQueen makes her first state budget pitch, she'll offer a glimpse into how the state is responding to growing calls for change in the way it funds schools.
October 21, 2015
Fewer Tennessee districts opt for teacher merit pay
Some school systems are moving away from paying teachers based on their evaluations — four years after receiving permission to tie teacher pay to their performance.
October 20, 2015
Shelby County Schools faces $72 million shortfall next school year, Hopson says
Only months after shepherding $125 million in budget cuts for the current fiscal year, Superintendent Dorsey Hopson warns that more lean times are ahead.
September 21, 2015
Haslam says state is fulfilling legal funding obligation to Shelby County Schools
In his first public comments on the latest school funding lawsuit against the state, Gov. Bill Haslam says he believes the state its fulfilling its legal obligation.
September 2, 2015
Hamilton County argues all Tennessee districts should be part of school funding lawsuit
The boards for seven school systems in southeast Tennessee ask a judge for class-action status in their funding lawsuit against the state.
September 1, 2015
Nashville mayoral hopefuls offer their visions for the city’s schools
Facing a runoff election on Sept. 10, candidates Megan Barry and David Fox Runoff sound off on charters, school desegregation, state funding and more.
July 22, 2015
Kansas law firm exploring potential BEP lawsuit by Shelby County Schools
A law firm that sued the state of Kansas over school funding has been hired by Shelby County Schools to explore whether the district should sue the state of Tennessee.
July 16, 2015
Despite educators’ frustration, little chance legislature will increase school funding soon
The Tennessee Legislature is not likely to increase school funding in the near future, even as districts gear up for legal battles.
June 9, 2015
State Board of Education approves minimum teacher salary increase, but not all pay will be raised
The State Board of Education approves a new salary schedule that raises the minimum annual pay for Tennessee teachers by just under $1,000.
June 1, 2015
Five things to know about Shelby County Schools’ pared-down budget
Some three months after Shelby County Schools began publicly building its 2015-16 budget, the long, arduous process reaches a milestone Monday before County Commission.
March 25, 2015
Chronic state underfunding of education spurs lawsuit by seven school districts
Charging that the state has breached its constitutional duty to provide “a system of free public education” for children in Tennessee, seven school districts sue the state over inadequate funding.
March 23, 2015
Another voucher bill – for students with special needs – advancing in legislature
While bills that would bring private school vouchers to Tennessee have grabbed headlines, a more far-reaching voucher initiative is advancing through the legislature with little fanfare.
March 10, 2015
Nashville school board opts for conversation over litigation
The board for Metro Nashville Public Schools votes unanimously to delay exploration of a lawsuit against the state over inadequate school funding.
March 10, 2015
House panel tables teacher pay funding discussion until summer
State legislators delay a bill designed to help local school districts pay their teachers and achieve parity across the state.
March 9, 2015
Nashville Schools next to consider legal challenge over state funding
Amid a growing chorus of district leaders exploring a lawsuit over chronic state underfunding of Tennessee public schools, Nashville's school director urges cooperation, not litigation.
December 8, 2014
Race to the Top money dwindling, but Huffman says not to worry
An especially lean education budget will have minimal impact on Tennessee schools next year, said outgoing education commissioner Kevin Huffman after a budget hearing Friday.
October 12, 2014
Q&A with Speaker Beth Harwell: Tennessee will probably develop own standards
Speaker of the House Beth Harwell spoke with Chalkbeat about her educational priorities, and the priorities of her constituents.
In your inbox.
Chalkbeat New York
How I Teach
Rise & Shine Colorado
Rise & Shine Detroit
Rise & Shine Indiana
Rise & Shine Tennessee