State Education Official Pays Call on Local Educators at DeKalb West School

January 14, 2022
By: Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County School District got a visit from an official of the Tennessee Department of Education Tuesday to discuss with local education administrators plans for a new school funding formula.

Meghan McLeroy, Chief Statewide Support Officer at the Tennessee Department of Education, stopped in at DeKalb West School where she toured the school and met with educators.

A potential new school funding formula is being proposed by the state which would provide additional money for low-income students, rural students, English language learners, students with disabilities and charter schools, according to a draft framework released by the Tennessee Department of Education

McLeroy said she is touring the state to learn what educators and administrators at the local level think about the plan.

“I have been going around to 20 to 30 districts across the state, especially our small and rural districts talking with superintendents, principals, and central office staff about what we are trying to build out in terms of a new funding system. We’re trying to get out and into these communities and hear from folks on the ground to learn what they need in terms of funding from the state to prioritize for their students,” said McLeroy.

Director of Schools Patrick Cripps said he anxious to learn more.

“We’re looking for more information. We have gone to one meeting about the funding which will be a change from the BEP formula the way it looks. We want to get more information on how it will support the programs we already have and how to keep growing as a district and how the state intends to fund that. There is a shortage of teachers statewide and we need to know how we keep compensating those educators to keep them in the school systems but most importantly we need to know how we are going to support our students because each student has individual needs and we need to be able to meet those needs on an individual basis,” said Director Cripps.