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VOL. 39 | NO. 11 | Friday, March 13, 2015

Haslam may meet with school directors next week

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NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says he will try to meet with the state's four largest school districts as early as next week to discuss education funding.

The move comes as three of the four districts are actively considering a lawsuit against the state to get more funding for schools. Districts in Shelby, Knox and Hamilton counties are gathering information for a possible lawsuit. Metro Nashville Public Schools decided on Tuesday to wait at least 30 days before actively considering a lawsuit.

The large districts say they aren't getting their fair share of funding.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press (http://bit.ly/1NOZnSK) reports Haslam told reporters on Wednesday that he understands the concerns of the districts.

"If you remember, the small schools threatened to sue us last year. I'm not certain it's so much of a large school, small school issue. It's how we fund education in Tennessee," he said.

He noted that he has proposed a budget that provides $100 million for teacher pay raises and nearly $50 million bolster the state's Basic Education Program funding formula.

He says resolving the issue "is not a matter of shifting (money), it's a matter of having the funds to do it."

"It's not like we're not being cognizant of the needs for K-12, if you look at how we've funded that compared to others (departments)," he said.

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