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Tennessee Adequacy Case Readies for Trial

Davidson County Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman last month denied the state’s motion to dismiss an adequacy case filed by the school boards covering the state’s two largest cities, Memphis and Nashville. Shelby Co. Bd of Educ. v Haslam. The plaintiffs claim that the state has failed to fully fund its “Basic Education Plan” (“BEP”.) In addition, they claim that the BEP, adopted originally more than two decades ago, fails to include many cost items that are needed to provide resources needed to provide necessary services for the many students who are performing below state proficiency levels, such as pre-kindergarten programs, CTE programs, extracurricular programs, music, art, and mandatory foreign language instruction. Plaintiffs further claim that the state has imposed a “pay to play” statute that requires students to pay fees to take part in extracurricular activities, and for supplies for CTE and other programs.

The case is now scheduled for trial in the spring of 2019.

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