It seems Governor Bill Lee’s HVAC buddy Bob Luddy is bringing his no frills private school pitch to Wilson County, too. I previously reported on Luddy and his Thales Academy as they held an initial interest meeting in Nashville in July. Here’s more on the interest meeting the school held in Wilson County:
Informational meeting for parents interested in Thales Academy in Wilson County, TN featuring Thales Academy Academic Director Dr. Tim Hall
About this Event
At Thales Academy, our mission is to provide an excellent and affordable education for students through the use of Direct Instruction and a Classical Curriculum that embodies traditional American values.
Thales provides a rigorous academic environment that fosters ethical behavior, critical thinking, virtuous leadership, lifelong learning, and truth seeking with a firm foundation in cognitive, non-cognitive, and technical skills. As a result, Thales Academy students are well prepared to succeed in higher education, career, and life while positively impacting the world around them.
We’ll discuss this and more on Thursday, August 1 with Thales Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Tim Hall, PhD.
Join us for an evening of learning Thursday, Aug 01 from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
It’s interesting that Thales is attempting to recruit students from Wilson County, even though Wilson is not (yet) a part of the Education Savings Account voucher scheme.
As noted before, here’s the deal with Thales:
No special education. No transportation. No cafeteria. Luddy calls it “no frills” and hails the use of “direct instruction.”
And here’s more on Luddy’s past dealings in Tennessee:
Thales and Luddy are not new to Tennessee. In fact, in 2015, voucher advocate Lee Barfield paid for a private plane to take former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and then-House Speaker Beth Harwell to North Carolina to visit the Thales schools. Like Bill Lee, Barfield is a long-time supporter of Betsy DeVos’s American Federation for Children and even served on the group’s Board of Directors.
Not surprisingly, tuition at Thales roughly mirrors the amount available to parents under the ESA program.
This is exactly the kind of “pop-up” private school critics of vouchers have warned about. In fact, new House Speaker Cameron Sexton once said:
This type of opportunistic expansion is just what new House Speaker Sexton warned about in an address to a local school board in his district back in 2017:
“For Sexton, the vouchers offer ‘false hope’ because the vouchers can’t cover the entire cost of private school tuition,” reported the Crossville Chronicle at the time. “That could lead to a boom of private for-profit schools opening that would accept the voucher funds, ‘which may or may not be great schools,’ Sexton said.”
Maybe all this expansion talk by the likes of Thales will lead to even more momentum for a repeal of the voucher scheme.
For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport