Pastors for Tennessee Children's Mission Statement
Pastors for Tennessee Children is a broad coalition of clergy from across the state of Tennessee that provides assistance to our local neighborhood and community public schools, and advocates for those schools, principals, teachers, staff and schoolchildren by supporting our free, public education system, and advancing legislation that enriches Tennessee children, families and communities.
We support adequate funding of public schools. We believe a free public education is a moral good that is vital to our state’s well being and requires adequate investment to ensure thriving communities.
We oppose school vouchers, which take from public school funds and put them out of the control of the public, mostly into unregulated religious schools. We affirm the separation of church and state, which will keep public schools free from coercive pressure to promote any sectarian faith. We intend to educate our communities on what issues face their local schools each election.
Article XI, Section 12, of the Constitution of the state of Tennessee recognizes the inherent value of education and encourages its support. “The General Assembly shall provide for the maintenance, support and eligibility standards of a system of free public schools.“ The Tennessee Constitution gives no authority to support private or religious schools.
We are concerned that outside money is being used to demean public schools and to influence legislation by lobbying, funding to defeat or support certain legislators, and obtain publicity for their goals.
We resolve to be committed to a just society. A just society will ensure that every child has an opportunity for a good education and that public schools have the resources necessary to provide such an opportunity, achieving the highest standards possible. We pledge to assist public schools on an individual basis when opportunities arise.
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