By BROOKE WANSER
If approved in this year’s legislative budget, Williamson County Schools will receive $2.3 million in additional funding from the state after a delegation of county Republican legislators pushed for the money on Capitol Hill.
Reps. Charles Sargent, House Majority Leader Glen Casada and Sam Whitson led the charge for additional funding, according to a press release from the Tennessee House Republicans.
Gov. Haslam has added an additional $18 million to the state budget for schools in high-growth areas, including Rutherford County and Sumner County.
Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson commended Sargent for taking the lead in the efforts to provide additional school funding.
“Williamson County is very fortunate to have Representative Sargent’s leadership, as Chair of the House Finance & Ways Committee, as well as Representatives Casada and Whitson and Senator Johnson, in their continued efforts to support the needs of our schools,” Anderson said. “These additional funds represent approximately two and one-half cents on the county’s tax rate.”
Casada said the legislature will vote to approve the budget in mid-April. If approved, the funds would be distributed for the 2018-2019 school year. Though the dollar amount will fluctuate, Casada hopes the funds will be distributed each year.
“In a nutshell, Charles is creating another fund outside of the BEP formula,” said Casada on Tuesday, referring to the state’s basic education plan funding.
At a town hall last week, Casada, Whitson and Sen. Jack Johnson spoke about the state’s failure to take into account the growth of a school district after the 2007 revision of the BEP.
“This is another cog in that wheel to help us,” Johnson said at the forum. “No one thing is going to address it, but if all these things can move our way, it will really help us out here in the county with our school funding.”