It seems that July 2022 Bill Lee needs to go back and have a conversation with January 2022 Bill Lee. You see, July Bill Lee is out there doing damage control over a controversy regarding Hillsdale College.
Even early July Bill Lee was doubling down on attacks on public education and defending Hillsdale President Larry Arnn.
Now, though, Lee is backing away from Hillsdale – or, at least he’s claiming that his January 2022 vision for Tennessee is “not his vision.”
NewsChannel5’s Phil Williams has been relentless in pursuit of the Hillsdale story and recently caught up with Lee. Here’s what Lee had to say:
NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked Lee why those school board votes should not be seen as a repudiation of his vision of Hillsdale being a key part of his “school choice” efforts.
“It shouldn’t be seen that way because it’s not my vision,” Lee claimed, adding that his vision is “to create the best public school system in the country.”
Lee had asked Arnn to help establish 50 to 100 of the taxpayer-funded schools across the state as part of his push for “informed patriotism” in schools.
It’s pretty interesting that Lee seems to think that no one remembers his State of the State address and his embrace of American exceptionalism. Or, more specifically, Lee’s direct reference to Hillsdale as a beacon of hope for patriotic Americans.
Here’s what Lee said in his January State of the State:
Two years ago, I traveled to Hillsdale College to participate in a Presidents Day celebration and spend time with champions of American exceptionalism.
For decades, Hillsdale College has been the standard bearer in quality curriculum and the responsibility of preserving American liberty.
I believe their efforts are a good fit for Tennessee, and we are formalizing a partnership with Hillsdale to expand their approach to civics education and K-12 education.
And, Lee is working to create an “Institute for American Civics” at UT that borrows curriculum from Hillsdale:
The College Fix notes:
As part of his “America at its Best” agenda, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee allocated $6 million to establish the institute.
Furthermore, Lee said he has formalized a partnership with Hillsdale College to ensure that the Christian school’s philosophies and teaching methods on civics education are brought to the institute.
Anyway, it’d be great if July 2022 Bill Lee could go and catch up with January Bill Lee and tell him to scrap the part of his speech about being all cozy with Hillsdale.
Even better (and less likely) would be if July Bill Lee would actually stand up for Tennessee teachers and public schools and sever all ties with Larry Arnn and Hillsdale.
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