UPDATE: Tennessee school districts go forward with legal action - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Tennessee school districts go forward with legal action on school funding

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A statement from Hamilton County Superintendent Rick Smith, issued March 24:  "On March 23, 2015, the Governor met with the superintendents of the State's four largest school systems, Shelby County, Metro-Nashville, Knox County and Hamilton County. This was a very positive meeting in which the superintendents were able to share the funding challenges facing their school systems. For his part, the Governor expressed a desire to work with school systems to improve funding for education.

In keeping with the Board's earlier decision, however, the Board's attorney will be filing an action in the Chancery Court for Davidson County. That said, the Hamilton County Board of Education has every intention to continue working with the Governor's office and the leadership of the General Assembly to secure the adequate funding of education for all Tennesseans. The Board does not believe that its decision to assert its legal claims should preclude productive dialogue since everyone, ultimately, wants the very best education for everyone in our State.

We look forward to working with the Governor and the General Assembly to improve Tennessee's system of public education."


PREVIOUS STORY: Gov. Bill Haslam met with representatives of the school districts in Tennessee's four largest cities, Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga to discuss their grievances about state funding and told them that he's working on short-term and long-term plans to address their concerns.

The Republican governor, Education Commissioner Candice McQueen and the four representatives spoke to reporters following the meeting on Monday.

Hamilton County Department of Education Superintendent Rick Smith was among that group, and in a news release called the meeting a “very positive.”

Other superintendents shared their opinions about the state education funding.

Haslam is hoping to avert a lawsuit seeking to direct more funding to urban areas.

The Hamilton County Department of Education will continue forward with its legal claim, and stated that “The Board does not believe that its decision assert its legal claims should preclude productive dialogue.”

Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga have argued that the state's funding formula is not adequately funded, and they've discussed taking legal action.

Haslam and McQueen didn't elaborate on their plans but said they will be talking to superintendents across the state to find out their funding concerns.

The four district representatives said they'd like to see the administration's plans play out before taking legal action.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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