Pastors Call on State Board to Reject Hillsdale-affiliated Charter Schools

Advocate Andy

Southern Christian Coalition speaks out after Rutherford County hearing on American Classical Academy

A group of Tennessee pastors affiliated with the Southern Christian Coalition called on the Tennessee State Charter School Commission to reject a charter application from American Classical Academy. The call from the pastors came following a hearing on whether or not the state should grant a charter to ACA to operate a school in Rutherford County. The Rutherford County School Board previously rejected ACA's application.

In a video statement, the group outlined its opposition to Hillsdale's operation in the state.

Rev. Dr. Donna Whitney, Pastoral Assistant at Metropolitan Interdenominational Church in Nashville, said, "It's clear that this charter school Commission was created with appointees chosen by Governor Lee to support his pet project of planting Hillsdale charter schools all across the state using taxpayer dollars. And the commission is conducting its meetings in such a way as to effectively mute dissent from the Governor's clear agenda of using public monies. That's taxpayer dollars to fund charter schools while draining resources from our public schools. Only 15 slots at the public meetings have been allotted for remarks from the public. And most of those slots have been prefilled, not with the public, but with the Commission's chosen spokespersons. Nonetheless, public opinion is emphatically opposed to Hillsdale charter schools."

The group also reiterated its opposition to Christian nationalism and said Hillsdale would bring Christian nationalism to Tennessee schools.

Rev. Edward Wolff, Retired Pastor in the Evangelical Church of American in Johnson City said, "There is no room in our classrooms for Christian nationalism and everything that I've read about the Hillsdale school system, it is bringing Christian nationalism into the school system."

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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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