Governor Bredesen, you are welcome to send an email and denounce the Comptroller’s proposal TODAY.
Comptroller proposes restructuring Tennessee’s tax system
Tuesday, November 21, 2006, at 8:44 p.m.
By Christina Cooke
The committee considering revisions to the formula the state of Tennessee uses to dispense education dollars now has another option to consider: Restructuring the tax system to put the state in charge of funding education.
Tennessee Comptroller John Morgan proposed a third alternative to the current formula at today’s meeting of the Basic Education Program Review Committee.
“Education is not a local issue,” Mr. Morgan said. “It really is a state problem, so why don’t we use the state tax base to fund an adequate education program to give all children in Tennessee the opportunity to succeed in public schools?”
Under Mr. Morgan’s proposal, the state would spend an additional $900 million on education. It would capture half of local option sales tax dollars, establish a statewide property tax and distribute the revenue among school systems depending on their needs.
County Board of Education chairman Joe Conner said he was skeptical of Mr. Morgan’s proposal.
“I have no confidence in the state coming up with a formula, which is taking more of our local dollars, when they can’t fix the formula they have today,” he said.
The BEP Review Committee has been studying revisions to the current formula in response to complaints from Tennessee’s large urban school systems, which now receive less money per student than smaller systems.