According to the Education Law Center, Tennessee ranks in the bottom five states across the country when it comes to school funding.
The ‘Southern Christian Coalition’ is voicing their concerns to lawmakers.
Chattanooga Pastor Laura Becker is raising two children in the Hamilton County school system.
Becker says the the lack of funding is obvious, “Especially when you look at some of the inequities just between different neighborhoods. Between the private schools and the public schools.”
Becker and numerous other faith leaders want lawmakers to cut the voucher system and invest more dollars back into public schools across Tennessee.
“Let’s make all of our schools better” said Becker. “I know that (vouchers) provides a good opportunity for those families in that moment but that doesn’t help the system.
The Education Law Center gave Tennessee an “F” for overall funding.
The Southern Christian Coalition addressed state legislatures in a statement, writing in part quote: “If lawmakers want to pass a public education agenda that claims to reflect Christian values they should ensure that our public schools are invested in as well as any other state in the country.”
“The timing for faith leaders of the faith leaders expressing their interest in funding for education couldn’t be any better” said Rep. Yusuf Hakeem.
The House and the Senate are currently in session, and education is on the agenda.
“I think it is on the minds of legislatures, of the administration, Governor Lee, that we need to do more for education” said Rep. Hakeem.
“I know Governor Lee mentioned the issues of the third grade reading literacy level that is often brought up as a concern. And Tennessee has been very far behind that behind that benchmark for a very long time. Not just since the pandemic” said Pastor Becker.