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TODAY’S HOLLER: BEACON SAYS THE QUIET PART OUT LOUD ABOUT TISA

THE QUIET PART OUT LOUD



As Governor Lee pushed his TISA education funding overhaul, many of us were hollering from the Smoky Mountaintops that the new “student-based funding formula” was intended to enable MORE money to follow kids OUT of the public schools system MORE EASILY to private schools through vouchers, charter schools and the like.

We knew this because we saw it happen in OHIO, where step 2 of their plan is already in progress, and already harming public schools.

We repeatedly asked Governor Lee and Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn if their Ed funding overhaul TISA will help steer public money to private schools. They denied it. 

But this week, The Beacon Center of Tennessee, a group behind much of the TISA push, just admitted in an op-Ed in the Washington Examiner that Governor Lee’s Ed funding overhaul TISA is in fact intended to help steer PUBLIC💰TO PRIVATE SCHOOLS.

There it is in black and white.

It seems with the formula passed, they now feel comfortable saying what it was really all about.

We warned about this. We posted about it daily. We even asked Governor Lee about it-– ⚡️FLASHBACK: “Isn’t this just the VOUCHERIZATION of our public education system?” (of course, he ran from us)

But Education commish Penny Schwinn denied this repeatedly when we asked her🤥 SHE LIED RIGHT TO OUR FACE: “Step 2 after Ohio’s funding overhaul was private school vouchers & charters—can you guarantee it won’t happen here?”

COMMISSIONER SCHWINN: “I haven’t been part of any of those kinds of conversations.”

So many lies. Right to our faces.

And the marketing blitz now being unleashed on Tennessee to sway public opinion in favor of PRIVATIZERS should tell you how much taxpayer 💰 is at stake. #HillsdaleHeist

Who is paying for this marketing? Us? Is this where that $32 million in the budget went that you gave them in the budget, Governor Lee?

Yes. Governor Lee gave teacher-trashing Hillsdale $32 MILLION of our money — for what, Exactly? Where’d that go?

And now HILLSDALE is texting Tennesseans that they’re not getting taxpayer money 🤥 ?

The lies never stop.

As a reminder, Lee’s RIGGED STATE CHARTER APPEAL BOARD is poised to help Hillsdale-affiliated schools overturn rejections by local school boards.

Meet the (Privately Run) Charter School commission Governor Lee picked to overrule locals that reject (Hillsdale) charter schools seeking taxpayer💰👇🏽
email: first.last@tn.gov

We’re going to keep yelling the truth about this, but the truth is a lot of damage has already been done.

If your reps supported TISA, and vouchers, and the creation of the state charter commission, they supported the dismantling of our public schools, which Republican Rep. Bob Ramsey told us last week is Governor Lee’s goal. 

And they should be held accountable for it.

People need to know. Spread the word. You can’t support Governor Lee if you support public schools. Period. Hopefully Tennessee will choose another option, which they have in Dr. Jason Martin.

We’ll keep yelling the truth about all this. Please consider chipping in monthly if you can. We depend on your support.

– The Holler
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REPUBLICAN REP RAMSEY: “GOV. LEE WANTS TO END PUBLIC EDUCATION”

REPUBLICAN REP: “GOVERNOR LEE WANTS TO DO AWAY WITH PUBLIC SCHOOLS”

Yesterday, for the first time ever, we had a Republican legislator on the Holler.

The lack of Republicans hasn’t been by choice – we’ve invited them, they just haven’t accepted our invitations. Until now.

Rep. Bob Ramsey out of Maryville agreed to come on, having just been unseated in a primary by a challenger backed by a big war chest from school privatization PACs who were mad at him for standing against Governor Lee’s efforts to steer public dollars to private schools through privately run charter schools, vouchers, and his TISA ed funding (privatization) overhaul.

The main takeaway from Ramsey’s appearance was that he confirmed everything we’ve been warning about when it comes to the privatization attacks on our public schools, which Governor Lee is spearheading. Rep. Ramsey, a Republican, even SAYS LEE WANTS TO END PUBLIC EDUCATION: “I do believe Governor Lee’s goal is to do away with public education.”

Here’s the FULL PODCAST (19 mins) with Rep. Ramsey, the first Republican legislator ever to come on the Holler. (FULL STREAM)

REP. RAMSEY also says “Preparations have been made to make overturning local rejections (of Hillsdale-affiliated schools) a slam-dunk, and that LOCAL EDUCATION AUTHORITIES REALLY HAVE NO POWER.” 

As we’ve been saying, Lee’s state appeal board is rigged to strip local control and push Charter Schools through even where locals have rejected them.😳

And Ramsey’s reward for standing up for public schools? He lost his seat. Governor Lee and his privatization pals sent a message to Ramsey and Weaver that standing against their attacks on public schools will not be tolerated.

Meanwhile, GOVERNOR LEE is out there blatantly lying about his connection to Hillsdale, telling reporters “I’m not engaged in Hillsdale’s efforts.”🤔 

Lee tries to distance himself from Hillsdale’s teacher-trashing as their (privately run) charters try to get local rejections overturned by his rigged state board, but he already gave them $32 MILLION of our💰in the budget.

Ramsey is telling the truth. Governor Lee wants to do away with public education. You can’t support Lee and public schools, which is why we hope people will get behind Jason Martin in November.

We’ll keep covering this attack on our schools, and trying to talk to Republicans like Bob who will tell us the truth.

Please consider chipping in monthly if you can. We depend on your support.

– The Holler
(CHIP IN MONTHLY HERE)
Please consider chipping in even just $5 or $10 monthly to help us continue this work.

“IS THIS MEMORIAL FOR DEAD CHILDREN GOING IN THE GARBAGE?”

10 minutes after the vigil outside Governor Lee’s office, he had the memorial for #Uvalde & #Buffalo victims removed, along with a letter signed by dozens of clergy. Unconscionable.

FOLLOW THE MONEY: ORGS BACKING LEE’S ED FUNDING PLAN GET $$ FROM GATES FOUNDATION

Today a number of organizations have come out in support of Governor Lee’s education funding (privatization) overhaul, which many public school advocates say will be inadequate, bad for public schools and help education privatization efforts in the long run.

Lee will boast of their support just in time to push his plan through key committees and onto the floors of the house and senate, but what he won’t mention are the organizations involved with that alliance that DID NOT SIGN ON, and how most of the ones that did have one common thread: THEY GET A LOT OF MONEY FROM THE GATES FOUNDATION, which has a heavy interest in getting this funding

Below is a number of tweets by TC Weber, public school advocate, pointing out how many of these organizations – including the NAACP, Memphis Education Fund, Tennessee PTA, Tennessee Department of Education, Sycamore Institute, Urban League of Greater Chattanooga, Knox Education Foundation, Sycamore Institute, and even Chalkbeat, the journalists who cover this tuff – have received HUGE SUMS OF MONEY from the Gates Foundation, which is a big part of the push for Lee’s funding overhaul:

 

FOLLOW THE MONEY.

 

 

INTERVIEW: ED FUNDING OVERHAUL BILL SPONSOR REP. MARK WHITE

We spoke with Rep. Mark White for 10 minutes about charter schools and Governor Lee’s potentially poisonous ed funding overhaul.

GEORGIA’S GOV. KEMP TO SIGN GAS TAX PAUSE GOV. LEE WOULDN’T

Last week Tennessee Democratic representatives Bo Mitchell & John Ray Clemmons held a press conference calling for Governor Lee to impose a 90-day gas tax moratorium to help Tennesseans with the pain of higher gas prices – which is a global issue Republicans have incorrectly blamed on Biden. (Oil production is UP under Biden, so the idea that he’s choking off supply is ridiculous on its face)

By some calculations the state gas tax moratorium would mean Tennesseans keep hundreds of millions of dollars they would’ve otherwise had to spend at the pump. Since Governor Lee regularly brags about the BILLIONS in surplus funds Tennessee has, partly because we’re #1 in hoarding funds intended for poor folks, it would seem we could’ve handled the moratorium – but Lee has said he has no plans to implement it.

Lee’s exact quote:

“We’ll look at proposals, but what we need to do—and I’ve been working with governors across the country—is to reach out to the federal administration and say ‘Here’s what needs to be done. We need to reinstitute energy policies that take the burden off of Americans for higher energy prices.”

Anyone who follows this administrations knows that’s Lee Speak for saying he won’t do anything.

That decision looks even more heartless now that a similar measure has passed UNANIMOUSLY in Georgia, and their Republican governor is planning to sign it right away, giving them a gas tax break through May, and saving their citizens $300-$400 million by some estimates.

From the Athens Banner-Herald:

The Georgia Senate unanimously passed legislation Thursday temporarily suspending the state sales tax on gasoline, but not before a lengthy debate over who is to blame for record-high pump prices.

The bill, which the state House of Representatives passed last week, now heads to Gov. Brian Kemp’s desk for his signature.

The governor and lawmakers acted after gas prices surged following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Suspension of the tax will save Georgians 29.1 cents per gallon of gasoline, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome, said before Thursday’s vote.

“The 29 cents is not going to completely solve the problem,” he said. “But it’s a start and a statement.”
It UNANIMOUSLY passed the house & senate in Georgia… but Lee won’t even consider it?
With Tennessee failing to expand Medicaid even as we lead in rural hospital closures per capita and medical bankruptcies, and slashing unemployment benefits even as legislators gave themselves raises, and refusing to raise the minimum wage, or give people paid leave… this is yet another example of Governor Lee and this Republican supermajority putting the people last.

EXPLAINED: GOV. LEE’S “STUDENT-BASED FUNDING FORMULA” MONEY GRAB

LEE’S NEW PUBLIC SCHOOL MONEY GRAB COMES INTO VIEW

 For months Governor Lee has been touting his new “STUDENT BASED FUNDING FORMULA” which he says will revolutionize how Tennessee funds our public schools. The plan has been very short on details by design, but after the press conference he gave yesterday we now have enough clues to understand what’s really going on.
Previously, Governor Lee did all he could to get private school vouchers passed, even reportedly offering military promotions as bribes to squeak it through the house. Unfortunately for him, the courts held up his unconstitutional plan (SO FAR).Now, instead of steering public dollars to private schools, Lee has begun a partnership with HILLSDALE COLLEGE, a private Christian school in MICHIGAN with close ties to BETSY DEVOS led by Larry Arnn, who Trump appointed to lead his history-whitewashing “1776 Commission” in response to the 1619 Project.

In the State of the State, Lee talked about bringing in Hillsdale to teach our kids to be “informed patriots”, by which he means he wants to fill their heads with propaganda and avoid them learning the the harsh truths of our past.

What Lee didn’t mention in his speech was the fact that he has apparently asked Hillsadale to bring 50-100 CHARTER SCHOOLS to Tennessee, which Arnn mentioned at a meeting in Franklin last September in AUDIO WE UNCOVERED THIS WEEK:

“Governor Lee wanted 100 charter schools in TN.”

When asked about it at a press conference yesterday, Lee did not deny it. He instead leaned into it, saying CHARTER SCHOOLS are a big part of his plan, and repeatedly making a point to call them “PUBLIC” schools – by which he means they’ll be taking our PUBLIC SCHOOL funds.

So instead of strengthening our public schools and funding them properly, Lee is telling us he’s willing to pour another $1 BILLION into our schools BUT ONLY IF WE ADOPT HIS STUDENT-LED FUNDING PROGRAM – which would mean those dollars would follow kids to Charter schools like these Hillsdale schools.

Charters are privately run enterprises. Now Lee thinks he can dodge the accusation of “Steering public funds to private schools” by saying these charter schools are “public schools”, but as someone said recently: Calling charter schools “PUBLIC” because they get public funds is like calling defense contractors public companies.

This has clearly been the plan for a long time. Even the MOMS FOR LIBERTY WILLIAMSON COUNTY CHAIR has been posting about the Hillsdale Charter school planned for Williamson since last year – and we’re told a petition has been pulled in Montgomery county as well.
They want our (underfunded) public school funds to send their kids to what will essentially amount to a publicly-funded private school.

It’s an attack on our public schools. A heist. They’re steering our public school funds towards a network of private schools by another name, run by a Trump loyalist who wants to whitewash our history and fill kids’ heads with propaganda.

And to top it all off, Lee has rigged the charter approval process. So even when communities vote to REJECT these schools, a state board handpicked by the governor can overrule these local decisions.

Worried yet? You should be. Strengthening our public schools should be our top priority. This new “STUDENT-BASED FUNDING FORMULA” SCHEME is just a new way for Governor Lee to steer our public dollars to private companies run by his friends, and he’s using these “PUBLIC” Charter schools as a vessel to do it… and our public schools will suffer.

Florida’s ed commish praised Lee and put it in this distasteful way at Hillsdale College👇🏽WATCH: “YOU CAN’T PUT THE ANIMALS BACK IN THE BARN”😳 – meaning once kids go to a charter school, we have no choice but to keep sending them money because you can’t force them to go back.

OUR QUESTION: Is Gov. Lee’s attempt to use public funds to create a network of private schools (while calling them “public”) even constitutional? Hopefully someone smarter than us can figure that out.

We’ll be here to cover it, and that’s thanks to your support, so Please consider chipping in monthly if you’re not yet doing so, even if it’s just a few bucks – the monthly support truly keeps us going. 

The Holler

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VIDEO: “THE PEOPLE’S STATE OF THE STATE”

VIDEO of the protestors who showed up to make their disapproval of Governor Lee known at the capitol this week.

 

 

HILLSDALE PREZ: “GOV. LEE ASKED FOR 100 TN CHARTER SCHOOLS”

This week at the propaganda-filled State of the State Governor Lee went on a diatribe about “informed patriotism”, saying schools have become “centers of anti-American thought” it would be a priority of his to make sure Tennessee kids learn “unbiased” history – by which he meant very biased history viewed only through his own white, Confederate-uniform-in-college-wearing prism.

To *help* TN kids learn that Deformed Patriotism, Lee said he was going to hire HILLSDALE COLLEGE, a Christian school in Michigan headed up by Larry Arnn, who Trump appointed to lead his “1776 Commission” to write a report to county the harsh truths of the 161 Project. (the first thing Biden did was unpublish its whitewashing view of our history… Arnn once made headlines for calling minority students “dark ones”)

Lee’s speech contained few details about the contract, but we’ve since uncovered some audio from a meeting in FRANKLIN, TN in September of last year (see below) when Arnn revealed that Governor Lee had asked him to bring 100 CHARTER SCHOOLS (!) to Tennessee.

Arnn says he only promised to deliver 50.

We know from sources that charter school applications have already been submitted in WILLIAMSON and MONTGOMERY Counties at least – possibly more.

This is more evidence that Governor Lee is no friend to public schools. The $1 BILLION in new funding he promised our public schools is coming with strings, and the goal is clearly to fund a network of private Christian schools in Tennessee, where he can steer our money to through his vouchers – and the state-level charter school approval board he has rigged to overrule local officials that may not want charters in their area is clearly also part of the plan.

This is an attack on public schools. All of it. From the book censorship, to history-whitewashing, threatening teachers, the mask fight, vouchers, Lee’s charter program…

There is a LOT of money in education, and they’re coming for it.

Are you paying attention yet?

Here’s the part of Lee’s speech we’re referring to:

TODAY’S HOLLER: TRUMP VS. HIS BASE, GOV. LEE COOL WITH GUNS ON PLANES

TRUMP VS. HIS OWN BASE
When the former president revealed to Bill O’Reilly that he was in fact vaccinated and boosted (as are ALL the Fox News hosts who rail against the vaccine every night), and did his best to take credit for the rollout, his base was very upset. They can forgive insurrection against the country, stealing from his own charity, cheating on his pregnant wife, trying to overturn the election, and generally being the most corrupt president this country has ever seen… but telling the truth about a life-saving medicine? THAT SHALL NOT STAND. 

New Nashville resident Candace Owens tried to come to his rescue to give him a chance to retract, but to his credit, he didn’t. TRUMP TOLD CANDACE OWENS: “The vaccine worked… PEOPLE AREN’T DYING WHEN THEY TAKE THE VACCINE… if you do get it it’s a very minor form.”

He’s right. The vaccine is working as intended. The VAST majority of COVID hospitalizations are now unvaccinated people.

Of course, his base can’t handle the truth. They went nuts over this. ALEX JONES RIPPED TRUMP, saying he is “either completely ignorant or one of the most evil men who ever lived” 👀

Candace Owens then took to social media to say Trump was just too old and out of touch to use the internet to get *REAL* information from the Facebook fever swamps – we’re betting Trump didn’t like that one AT ALL. 

Of course, not everyone was upset with him. People who understand that the vaccine is working as intended were more than willing to credit Trump with getting this right. Even White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki echoed Trump’s COVID vaccine recommendation… a sentence we never thought we’d type. 😷

But the backlash to Trump by his base for saying positive things about the vaccine has been severe. It seems the only thing they can’t forgive him for is telling even the slightest bit of truth about this life-saving medicine. Perhaps this is because many have lost their jobs or even gotten arrested over their refusal to take this life-saving medicine, clearly viewing it as a loyalty test, a way to show they support Trump to the bitter end.

But what do you do when even Trump doesn’t agree with taking that stance?

Life must get pretty confusing when you devote yourself to a grifter whose only true commitment is to himself.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. We’ll be following this story closely. Please consider chipping in monthly if you’re not yet doing so, even if it’s just a few bucks – the monthly support truly keeps us going. 

Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and here’s to a great New Year.

TODAY’S HOLLER:
LEE COOL WITH GUNS ON PLANES: Q: “Would you support guns on planes?” GOV. LEE: “That’s up to airlines.” 😲😳 Q: “Yet private companies can’t require employee vaccines?” LEE: “…uhhhh I didn’t agree with the bill I signed 🧐🙃…” How many different ways can Lee pander to extremists and fail to lead?

WAR BUDGET GOES UP EVEN DURING PEACE: 5% increase ($768 BILLION/year, $7.7 TRILLION/decade) to the war budget DURING PEACE — The GOP will vote for this but reject 1/5th of it for child care, pre-k, health care, climate, housing, etc? They care more about defense contractors than people.

Hospitalization rate by vaccine status… blue is unvaccinated… green is vaccinated… Get vaccinated. 😷

WHAT A SCHMECK: “I meant no disrespect” 🧐 – Jared Schmeck, who said “fuck you” by another name to Biden after a very cordial call in front of children, including his own, says he meant no disrespect, when in fact he meant only disrespect… Doing it is classless. Trying to walk it back is cowardly. Don’t be a Schmeck.

SCHMECK: “Trump is my president, the election was 100% stolen.”🙄 After saying he wasn’t a Trumper and “meant no disrespect”, the ex-cop who said “Fuck You” to Biden by a different name on a Santa call with kids (but says he’s a “Christian” first 🧐) sings a different tune to Bannon.

DEAD VOTER CLAIM DIES: “False claims thousands of ballots cast in the names of dead Georgia voters can rest in peace… Election investigators found just 4, all returned by relatives… latest in a series of unsubstantiated claims of fraud since debunked…”

It’s good that Georgia only found 4 ballots sent by relatives after death, but also— why are they getting fines when Crystal Mason (a black woman) got 5 years in Texas for thinking she could vote and casting a provisional vote that wasn’t even counted? Obscene.

LAWSUIT: “2 Georgia election workers who were the target of vote-rigging conspiracy theories sued far-right OANN & Giuliani for allegedly spreading lies about them…” (One is Ruby Freeman, who Kanye’s publicist and a Trump aide tried to pressure)

🚨BIDEN: “I support making an exception on voting rights for the filibuster.” #SaveDemocracy 🇺🇸

VP HARRIS: “Half of the senate (all the Republicans) REFUSE TO EVEN DEBATE voting rights legislation… Stand up before the American people. Defend your position. See if it stands up to logic and reason.” #EndTheFilibuster 🇺🇸

👂LISTEN: “Probably because you keep touching them, you nasty perv!” – CLEVELAND, TN televangelist Perry Stone interrupted during service 11/30 – he is accused of sexually harassing multiple ministry members. There is a federal investigation.

Paid for by taxing those who can afford it — thanks for the breakdown, Fox! imagine thinking these are bad things. 🧐🙃 #PassThePeoplesBudget

UNITED MINE WORKERS TO MANCHIN: “REVISIT YOUR OPPOSITION TO BBB” – America’s largest coal mining union that reps West Virginia miners is urging Senator Manchin to support Biden’s bill AND get voting rights legislation passed. 🇺🇸 🗣 

A fair question for Senator Schumer…

LEE WANTS THE RNC HERE IN 2024: Oh boy – this is just what we need around here. 🎪

LEE PUTS PRISON GUARDS OVER TEACHERS: Perhaps nothing shows Governor Lee’s misplaced priorities like his decision to have entry-level correctional officers earn what it takes a teacher with a bachelor’s degree TEN YEARS to make… budgets are moral documents.

LAKELAND COUNTY:  Anti-LGBT parents threaten to pull their kids out if the school board allows a GAY-STRAIGHT ALLIANCE to exist… board says it can’t pick which clubs to allow.🏳️‍🌈

MADISONVILLE: Officer Wes Martin for Monroe County Commission 1st District arrests a Latino man for “HOOTIN’ & HOLLERIN’” because he says he disturbed his coffee, then arrests the man filming it. They say he was annoyed the waitress played their music. Cops on power trips is a danger to us all.

UNDERCOVER KKK INFORMANT: “came across dozens of police officers, prison guards, sheriff deputies, other law enforcement officers involved with the klan and outlaw motorcycle groups…” – How many more must there be?

OFFICER FANONE RESIGNS: “Clearly there are some members of our department who feel their oath is to Donald Trump and not to the Constitution… I no longer felt like I could trust my fellow officers.” 😳 — Be alarmed. 🚨

FORCED BIRTH ACTIVISTS HAVE NO ANSWERS: Anti-reproductive freedom activists have very few answers as to why they also support cutting programs (Medicaid, food stamps, child care, etc.) that help women feel they can afford to go through with a pregnancy.

🎯 🇺🇸

NASHVILLE STRONG: Nashville restaurants Rodizio Grill & The Melting Pot post notes about the Christmas bombing 1 year ago: “A lot was lost but we remain grateful nobody was injured.” 

😳🌎

In case you’re wondering, this is what we got everyone we know for Christmas…

And while we’re talking about Marsha, let’s always remember this little gem…

CARTOONS OF THE DAY 🎄 🎅

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