Bill Lee’s privatization plot bears fruit
A Christian Nationalist charter school network with ties to extreme-right Hillsdale College will soon operate two schools in the state.
The Commission also rejected an appeal for a Hillsdale charter in Maury County, noting that the application just “wasn’t there yet.”
The Hillsdale charter in Jackson-Madison will be the second in the state after Rutherford County’s school board approved an application from the charter network earlier this year.
Lee outlined his plan to partner with Hillsdale for the development of up to 50 charter schools in the state back in his 2022 State of the State Address. In that address, Lee made clear his allegiance with the ideology of American Exceptionalism and his comfort with Christian Nationalism.
An analysis of the fiscal impact of charter schools found that the Hillsdale charters, as envisioned in their applications, would drain roughly $7 million from each district where they operate.
If Lee’s dream of 50 Hillsdale charters is realized, more than $300 million could be transferred from state and local taxpayers to the charter network.
Even before he was a candidate for Governor, Lee was an advocate for funneling tax dollars to private, religious schools.
Even though as early as 2016, Bill Lee was extolling the virtues of school voucher schemes and even though he’s a long-time supporter of Betsy DeVos’s pro-voucher Tennessee Federation for Children and even though he has appointed not one, but two voucher vultures to high level posts in his Administration, it is somehow treated as “news” that Bill Lee plans to move forward with a voucher scheme agenda in 2019.
How did we get here? In 2018 I wrote:
Bill Lee was on the right team and spoke the right, religiously-tinged words and so earned the support of people who will look at you with a straight face and say they love Tennessee public schools.
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