Tennessee Legislature Completes Regular Session
On April 23, the Tennessee General Assembly adjourned after approving a $13.8 billion 2015-16 general fund budget, up 1.2 percent over the original 2014-15 budget. General funds to K-12 education will increase 1.5 percent to $4.5 billion, including $4.2 billion for the Basic Education Program (up 1.6 percent). The budget provides almost $100 million for teacher salary increases; actual salary increase amounts will be determined at the school district level. General funds for higher education are up 2.5 percent to $1.6 billion.
Education legislation passed during the session includes: House Bill 1035, which requires the state board of education to implement an expanded review of the Common Core State Standards and to adopt any changes or new standards by the 2017-18 school year; and Senate Bill 27, the Individualized Education Act, which permits a qualifying student with disabilities to apply per-pupil state and local funds to obtaining a nonpublic school education.