What happens when, despite your best efforts, local school systems sue your state claiming a lack of adequate funding? You get nervous is what happens. Especially when three previous lawsuits claiming your state has underfunded schools have been successful.
When a body like the Tennessee General Assembly faces a dilemma such as whether or not to make funding schools a top priority, they can either make a significant new investment in schools OR wait and see if the courts order them to make a significant new investment in schools. Historically, our General Assembly has waited and then taken corrective action by way of new investment only after courts have found that school funding is not adequate and/or equitable.
Now, however, lawmakers are taking a different approach. They are advancing amendments to the state constitution that would essentially eliminate the requirement that the General Assembly provide for a “system of free public schools” in Tennessee.