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TENNESSEE


Tennessee Small Sch. Sys. v. McWherter, 91 S.W.3d 232 (Tenn. 2002) (“Small Schools III”).

The Tennessee Supreme Court held that the salary equity plan adopted by the state legislature in response to the Court’s ruling in Small Schools II, which did not include equalization of teachers' salaries and contained no mechanism for cost determination or annual cost review of teachers' salaries, failed to comply with the Court’s ruling or with the State's constitutional obligation to formulate and maintain a system of public education that afforded substantially equal educational opportunity to all students.

Tennessee Small Sch. Sys. v. McWherter, 894 S.W. 2d 734 (Tenn. 1995) (“Small Schools II”).

The Tennessee Supreme Court upheld the Basic Education Program, adopted by the state legislature in response to the Court’s ruling in Small Schools I, against plaintiffs’ challenge to its provision for incremental achievement of its objectives. The Court ruled that substantial improvement in educational opportunities throughout the state under the program could best be accomplished incrementally and only if complete equalization of funding were accomplished incrementally. It further ruled, however, that the program must include equalization of teachers' salaries.

Tennessee Small Sch. Sys. v. McWherter, 851 S.W.2d 139 (Tenn. 1993) (“Small Schools I”).

The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that the state’s system of school finance, which resulted in substantial disparities in funding levels and educational opportunities among the state’s school districts and their students, violated the equal protection clause of the state constitution, since local control of the public schools did not provide the rational basis needed to justify such disparate educational opportunities.