Faith Group Applauds Rutherford County for Rejecting Hillsdale Charter

Advocate Andy

Southern Christian Coalition renews call for Gov. Lee to cut all ties with Hillsdale

Following the Rutherford County School Board's rejection of a charter school affiliated with Hillsdale College, pastors affiliated with the Southern Christian Coalition hailed the move and called on Gov. Lee and state policymakers to sever all ties with the private college in Michigan.

Coalition member Rev. Donna Whitney of Metro Interdenominational Church in Nashville released a video statement in which she applauded the Rutherford County decision and pushed Lee to take action to end Tennessee's Hillsdale connection.

"I'm grateful that the Rutherford County School Board rejected the application of American Classical Academy, a charter school connected to Larry Arnn and Hillsdale College. Since January when Governor Lee announced that he wanted to open 100 Hillsdale charter schools in Tennessee, I have been speaking out against this plan due to the school's failure to appropriately separate church and state in our public schools and because of the fact that their history curriculum whitewashes history. All children across the state deserve access to a high-quality education with high quality curriculum that meets state standards and prepares them to become successful and productive adult members of our community, and these schools would instead be a disservice to our students.

"The comments made by Larry Arnn, President of Hillsdale College, an education advisor to Governor Lee, that 'teachers come from the dumbest parts of the dumbest colleges' is just further proof that Governor Lee needs to distance himself from Hillsdale and abandon his attempts to bring Hillsdale Schools to Tennessee. These schools erase the line between church and state and are an attempt to bring White Christian Nationalism into our public schools."

Whitney ended her remarks with an appeal for full funding of the state's public schools.

"So today I am asking for Governor Lee to abandon this ill-advised partnership and instead finally fully fund our public schools as much as any other state so that every child in Tennessee has access to a quality public education that prepares them to thrive as productive and successful adults who enrich our Tennessee communities."

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN
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