TN House Speaker Proposes A Refusal On Federal Funds For Education

Image Credit: Speaker Cameron Sexton / Facebook

The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –

House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville-District 25) says it’s time for Tennessee to stop taking federal funding for K-12 education so the state would no longer have “federal government interference” in the way schools are run.

Sexton is proposing a bill that would push the state legislature to further examine the idea, and he has already begun talks with Governor Bill Lee and other top Republican lawmakers.

He believes this would free up the state to make decisions regarding education without bowing to federal guidelines.

“Basically, we’ll be able to educate the kids how Tennessee sees fit,” Sexton said.

In many cases, federal funding has been used as the government’s way of pushing the state to adopt classroom curriculum that is not in line with what Tennesseans want for children, including those that deal with race and gender issues.

Sexton says Tennessee is in a good place financially to be able to support schools by replacing the federal funds with state tax money. He noted that the additional $3.2 billion worth of new spending in Governor Lee’s new budget proposal shows that the state could come up with that needed funding.

“We as a state can lead the nation once again in telling the federal government that they can keep their money and we’ll just do things the Tennessee way,” Sexton said. “And that should start, first and foremost, with the Department of Education.”

Tennessee is not the first state to consider rejecting federal funds. Oklahoma and South Carolina, among other states, have discussed the possibility, but no state has done so yet.

A spokesperson for Governor Lee’s office said that he is “always interested in working with the speaker to ensure Tennessee students have the best access to a high-quality education.”

Lt. Governor Randy McNally also noted that “federal mandates in the area of education can be overly burdensome” and stated that he was interested in considering the proposal.

On the General Assembly website, there is not currently a bill listed that matches Sexton’s proposal.

However, of the 15 bills Sexton is sponsoring in the 113th General Assembly, at least three are caption bills under headings that would match his proposal.

Any one of these caption bills could be altered with an amendment that “makes the bill” to fit his proposal.

If you support Sexton’s proposed legislation, you can contact him here:

Speaker Cameron Sexton (R) – – (615) 741-2343

You can reach Lt. Gov. Randy McNally here:

Senator Randy McNally (R) – – (615) 741-6806

You can reach Governor Bill Lee HERE.

And you can find the contact information for your Senators and Representatives HERE.

About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative  ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career.  Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others.  He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History.  Contact Jason at

11 thoughts on “TN House Speaker Proposes A Refusal On Federal Funds For Education

  • February 9, 2023 at 7:53 pm

    This is a great idea and the strategy that Hillsdale College practices. Imagine Tennessee schools eliminating critical race theory and focusing on the fundamentals of reading, writing and arithmetic. Imagine Tennessee students being taught civics and an appreciation for the Constitution. Families from all over the country would be envious of a Tennessee education.

    • February 9, 2023 at 10:05 pm

      Crown College here in KNox County also functions without ant Federal funds.

      Federal Funds ( they are never free) are the vehicle by which DC bribes Americans with our own money, actually our grandchildren’s’ money.. see Tocqueville.

      Sexton’s idea is a critical first step of us to throw of the self imposed tyranny of Voluntary Servitude.

  • February 9, 2023 at 10:13 pm

    If it comes to it I wouldn’t mind having my taxes raised in order to be free of federal influence in Tennessee schools and in order to build more prisons so Tennessee can acquire the reputation of being the absolute worst place in the USA to be a criminal.

    • February 10, 2023 at 12:32 am

      I agree with you. Let’s get the feds out of our schools. As a retired teacher, I always said the federal government has damaged our education system and taken up to much teacher time when we needed to be teaching.

    • February 10, 2023 at 12:35 am

      I agree because as a retired teacher I saw where extra paperwork kept me from teaching.

  • February 9, 2023 at 10:51 pm

    I think this is the best idea I have heard in quite a while. With the government doing the outlandish immoral things they are doing today, it’s time to separate and go a different direction.
    All the Federal Government wants to do is test test test. Why? What is this all about? Teach our children reading, writing, and arithmetic, history and stop all of the government crap!

  • February 9, 2023 at 11:24 pm

    Depends on what the goal is here. Just because you don’t take federal money doesn’t mean you don’t have to adhere to federal law. In particular, laws around special education would still have to be followed. If you still have to follow the law, why would you not take the money that comes with it? Otherwise, the state is taking on an extra burden financially, but still bound to the law. Not sure that makes sense…

  • February 10, 2023 at 12:47 am

    This needs to pass ASAP. States need to be FREE from being held hostage for funding if they don’t teach WOKE and any other garbage.

  • February 10, 2023 at 1:29 am

    Best thing I’ve heard come up of the speakers mouth. Federal money is how the states ended up with Common Core and critical race theory. The Federal Government needs to not be involved.

  • February 10, 2023 at 11:46 am

    Well what-a-you-know.
    Someone in Tn legislature actually reads their mail n’ gettin-to-it.
    This proposal needs to pass 100%.
    Then it needs to be a concise ballot initiative to add to the state constitution
    Shucking the feds more feisty than the no-state-income-tax amendment was.
    EDUCATION UNIONS will raise a huge stink.
    Marxist $$$ will be raised from all over the country, watching the show will be hilarious.
    What the marxists will not understand is our Resolve
    Every legislator will have to exploit every public opportunity to explain the huge advantage of cutting the strangling federal cord.
    At the same time highlighting the exceptional failure of the “American unionized educational system” since the presidential cabinet chair was created
    Especially if teachers and administrators are held accountable and all positions and salary are merit based.
    The amendment will pay for its self, due to the explosion of new families moving to the Volunteer State of Tennessee.

  • February 10, 2023 at 2:39 pm

    This needs to happen and the biggest challenge will be getting our worthless Senate (minus a handful) on board.


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