Staff at the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) have invited all state residents to eight regional public town halls later this month and throughout next month to discuss the state’s public education funding strategy.

“These public town halls will spark localized conversations about student-based funding for public education in Tennessee and how to create a new strategy to best serve our students and ensure they are prepared for future success,” according to a TDOE press release.

“All Tennesseans — including parents and families, teachers, students, elected officials, stakeholders and partners, business leaders and members of the general public—are invited to participate and will be able to share their feedback and hopes for a new funding strategy.”

According to the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE), state officials have not updated the state’s current school funding framework, also known as the Basic Education Program (BEP), in more than 30 years. BEP is the funding formula through which state education dollars are generated and distributed to Tennessee schools.

The schedule, according to the TDOE’s website, is as follows:

• Mid-Cumberland Region — 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, October 27at Merrol Hyde Magnet School (128 Township Drive, Hendersonville)

• Southwest Region — 5:30 p.m. CT, Thursday, October 28, at the National Civil Rights Museum (450 Mulberry Street, Memphis)

• South Central Region — 6 p.m. CT, Monday, November 1, at the University of Tennessee, Southern; Curry Athletic Complex (150 Kermit Smith Drive, Pulaski)

• East Region — 6 p.m. ET, Tuesday, November 2, at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Ballroom in the Student Union (1502 Cumberland Ave, Knoxville)

• First Region — 5:30 p.m. ET, Wednesday, November 3, at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center (212 Tusculum Boulevard, Greeneville)

• Southeast Region —5:30 p.m. ET, Thursday, November 4, at the Howard School (2500 Market Street, Chattanooga)

• Northwest Region — 5:30 p.m. CT, Monday, November 22, at the Gibson County High School (130 Trenton Highway, Dyer)

• Upper Cumberland Region — 5:30 p.m. CT, Tuesday, November 30, at Jackson County Middle School (170 Blue Devil Lane, Gainesboro)

State officials invite all Tennessee residents to submit comments and questions to tnedu.funding@tn.gov.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to chrisbutlerjournalist@gmail.com.