According to census data, Tennessee is spending less to educate a student than nearly every other state in the country.
New federal data shows Tennessee ranked 44th in per-student spending and 42nd overall for teacher compensation.
The data, released in May by the U.S. Census Bureau, reveals the Volunteer State is spending less on each student ($10,507) than every other neighboring state, except Mississippi ($10,170).
Nationally, public school spending per student experienced the largest fiscal year-to-year increase since 2008, up 6.3% to $14,347, according to data from the 2021 Annual Survey of School System Finances.
Tennessee’s per-pupil spending lagged 31% below the national average.
According to Tennessee Senate Democrats, Republican policy threatens public education.
“In addition to severe underfunding, the controlling party in Tennessee has undermined public schools with harmful policy for a decade,” they said in a release.
“The list of harmful, anti-public education laws is long and growing fast under Gov. Bill Lee: third-grade retention law; private school vouchers; increased standardized testing; book and material banning; censorship of honest history lessons; and attacks on professional teaching organizations.”
Read the full annual spending report at <Census.gov>.