Southern Christian Coalition Celebrates Withdrawal of Hillsdale Charter School Applications

Advocate Andy

Tennessee pastors have previously called out Hillsdale's "Christian Nationalist" agenda

A group of Tennessee pastors affiliated with the Southern Christian Coalition is celebrating the withdrawal of three charter school applications. Hillsdale College-affiliated American Classical Academy had applied to open charter schools in Madison, Rutherford, and Montgomery counties. The applications were denied at the local school board level in each county. Following those denials, American Classical appealed to the Tennessee Public Charter School Commission. A hearing and vote on the appeal were scheduled for the week of October 3rd.

On Thursday, American Classical announced it was withdrawing the appeal in each of three counties.

The Southern Christian Coalition has previously decried what it says is a "Christian Nationalist" agenda advanced by the Hillsdale charter schools.

In a statement, the group explained their gratitude for the withdrawn applications.

"I'm grateful and relieved that American Classical Academy withdrew their requests to open in Tennessee," said Rev. Dr. Kevin Riggs, Pastor of Franklin Community Church in Franklin. "Ever since I heard of Governor Lee's plan to open 100 Hillsdale affiliated charter schools across the state in January I have been speaking out against the effort. These schools' whitewashing of history and prioritization of the Christian faith is harmful, and blurs the separation of church and state, not to mention that Governor Lee's charter school scheme goes against the will of local school boards and communities. I spoke at a press conference in Franklin last week, speaking out against Founders Classical School, which is currently still trying to force its way into Williamson and Sumner counties, and I hope they follow the example of American Classical by withdrawing their application as well."

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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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