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Faith Leaders Call for Equitable Public School Funding
January 17, 2023; 5:42 p.m.

Rev. Jason Mikel releases video statement demanding that state leaders stop political posturing and divisive culture wars and
instead fully fund Tennessee's public schools

NASHVILLE, TN -- One week after the start of the 2023 Tennessee General Assembly, pastors continue their call for a moral agenda from the state's elected leaders. Part of a moral agenda is fully funding and supporting our local public schools and teachers and Rev. Jason Mikel, Pastor of Jenkins Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Nolensville, released a video statement calling on Governor Lee and the Legislature to do just that.

"No matter where our children live, the color of their skin, their social situation, or anything else, every child deserves access to a high quality education in their local public school. Our communities are healthier and our communities are stronger when public schools are allocated the resources they need to fulfill their calling. Yet our state ranks nearly last in financial funding for students, teachers, and schools. And it is that way because of the continuing decisions of our state leaders. Governor Lee and our Supermajority Legislature fuel divisions for the purpose of removing resources from our schools. They demonize teachers and librarians. (And who goes after librarians?) Yet they vie for control of our state's classrooms by unnecessarily burdening our educators with their political posturing.

"Tennessee teachers are awesome. We all know some. They dedicate their lives to providing every child with a good education. Yet politicians are getting in the way when they deny adequate funding and when they make decisions such as banning books, as if we don know the danger in that.

"Society is harmed through punitive laws like the 3rd grade retention law, which punishes teachers and students for that exact lack of funding received by the state. There's even a proposed bill that would allow teachers to carry guns in schools. That's horrific, that's unwise and it's unhealthy.

"So I implore Governor Lee and I implore our State Legislature to abandon these cultural fights that divide Tennessee, be one with these charter school pet projects. Instead fully fund our public schools so that all Tennessee children have the tools they need to learn, stretch themselves, gain job skills, graduate, hold successful careers, contribute to their communities, and maybe even change their world.

"That's done through funding and through empowerment of those who give their lives to the education of our children. And that is what will make Tennessee a healthier state."

rev jason mikel
View Rev. Mike's video statement here.

About Southern Christian Coalition
The Southern Christian Coalition is a nonpartisan grassroots, ecumenical organization. Across the South, politicians use ideology in the guise of Christian theology to push policies that harm our communities and isolate us from our neighbors. We are a community of Christians, speaking up on the values of our faith.


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