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Concerns Over New School Funding Plan

Many of you have heard about the remarks by Education Commissioner Schwinn at a recent meeting of the Public Education Funding Review Steering Committee.  A committee member asked if school systems had the option of outsourcing music and visual arts teaching positions under the new funding plan. In her reply (begin at 50 minute mark) the Commissioner indicated that this was 100% possible within the provisions of the plan.
 
ArtsEd Tennessee is investigating; at this time we urge patience and caution as we learn more. The full conversation refers to a question about teacher compensation and how the funding formula would work. The Commissioner explained that the proposed formula would be a funding plan and not a spending plan, and local school districts were free to make their own decisions as to who to hire and the level of compensation.
 
To be clear, ArtsEdTN is opposed to outsourcing instruction for standards-based curriculum. Both TCA 49-5-101 and TCA 49-5-403 clearly indicate that no person shall be employed to teach in any Tennessee public school or receive pay for teaching out of the public funds of any school system until the person has received a license from the TDOE. These Tennessee statutes are among several that ensure public school instruction is provided by a highly-qualified and licensed teacher. These laws apply to all teachers, including those who teach visual and performing arts.
 
We stand with you. Be assured we will keep you informed and stand ready to act.
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