Tennessee Plans to Withhold Millions of Dollars in State Funding from Schools That Teach Critical Race Theory

The state of Tennessee has plans to withhold millions of dollars in state funding from schools that violate a recently passed law that regulates the teaching of critical race theory, a body of legal and academic scholarship that aims to examine how racism and disparate racial outcomes have shaped public policy via often implicit social and institutional dynamics.

A guidance recently issued by state education officials lists potential penalties and there is room for public comment until August 11.

If the rules are imposed as stated, the state education department could withhold the lesser of $1 million or 2 percent of state funds allocated to schools deemed to have knowingly violated the state law, while failing to take ‘corrective action,'” as noted by The Washington Post. “Repeat offenders could forfeit $5 million, or forgo 10 percent of annual state funds, whichever is less. Authorities may also revoke, suspend or deny the licenses of individual teachers.”

“Critical race theory is un-American. It fundamentally puts groups of people above the sanctity of the individual, which is a founding principle of this nation,” said Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) earlier this month.

Criticism against critical race theory grew exponentially following the publication of “The 1619 Project,” a collaboration between developer Nikole Hannah-Jones and the writers of The New York Times and The New York Times Magazine that has challenged our collective understanding of the history of the United States, repositioning the consequences and legacy of slavery as elements vital to the historical narrative.