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Loan Sharks in Missouri, School Funding Goes to Court in Tennessee
Plus, News on Tennessee's COVID Failure
Kendall Bank in Kansas City, Missouri is promoting a loan product through a lender called “Helix.” The Helix website explains:
Loan amounts range from $200 to $4,000 with a repayment term up to 24 months. Annual Percentage Rates range from 36% to 499%.
Umm, that’s a pretty expensive bank loan. In fact, if your short-term borrowing “needs” mean you need a 499% interest rate loan, you are quite likely to have additional borrowing needs in the near future.
Meanwhile, in Tennessee a school funding fight goes to court.
The State of Tennessee now has a court date to face allegations of inadequate school funding. The lawsuit, originally filed by school systems in Nashville and Memphis, has been joined by Tennessee School Systems for Equity, a group representing smaller systems around the state. The suit alleges that as it currently stands, the state’s school funding formula (BEP) does not provide sufficient funding for the operation of schools.
The adequacy issue has been discussed for a number of years. Most recently, the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) has suggested the state underfunds schools by $1.7 billion.
How did we get such a large deficit? We have a funding formula that is not based in reality. That is, the formula fails to account for the staffing needs of schools.
Tennessee’s COVID Response Causes Problems
The Administration of Gov. Bill Lee has come under fire in recent days as the COVID-19 crisis is cancelling schools in some districts.
The latest bad news for Lee comes from an announcement today that the U.S. Department of Education is launching an investigation into state policies in five states (including Tennessee) that have sought to ban local mask mandates in schools.
Yet another Tennessee school district has announced a temporary closure due to COVID-19. Sumner County Schools will close from Sept. 7–10 (next week) in order to attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19. The move comes as the Lee Administration continues to insist that children should be in school and is failing to cooperate with districts seeking remote learning options. As with other districts closing due to COVID, stockpiled inclement weather days will be used. To be clear: There will be no in-person instruction and no online/remote learning. Schools are simply closed.