Fiscal Year 2017-18 Verification of the Basic Education Program (BEP) Calculation
Author: Carolynn Polanchek
The Basic Education Program (BEP), Tennessee’s funding formula for K-12 public schools, distributes over $4.5 billion to school districts and makes up over a quarter of all state dollars in the budget. For the second year, the Comptroller’s Office of Research and Education Accountability (OREA) checked the formula, and found several revision points for the fiscal year 2017-18 calculation. While most of the identified revision points were negligible and affected only a few districts, one issue resulted in misallocated funds to 141 of the state’s 142 school districts. Underallocations to 122 school districts totaled approximately $9.74 million, and overallocations to 19 school districts totaled $6.81 million, for a net state underallocation of $2.94 million. The incorrect allocations were mainly attributable to the inadvertent use of incorrect fiscal capacity data.
The Tennessee Department of Education will make adjustments for the 122 districts with underallocations, and states that it has implemented review and verification procedures to ensure that all revision points are addressed.