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Governor Lee Visits Alternate School

Posted 11/6/19

HUNTINGDON (October 29) — Governor Bill Lee made his first visit as the governor and second after announcing his candidacy for the office of governor on a tour of the facility October 29.He was …

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Governor Lee Visits Alternate School

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HUNTINGDON (October 29) — Governor Bill Lee made his first visit as the governor and second after announcing his candidacy for the office of governor on a tour of the facility October 29.

He was joined by school administrators from Benton, Carroll, Henry, and Weakley counties, who all stated the program serves a great need by helping students and temporarily placing them in the school until their situation improves.

Also participating in the tour were State Senator John Stevens, State Representative Curtis Halford, Representative Andy Holt, and Representative Bruce Griffey, and Carroll County General Sessions Judge Larry Logan, who was one of the founders of the school.

The educators said the model works well with small classrooms and the attention. They also indicated it works well because of the constant dialogue between the public schools and C.A.

Carroll Academy is an alternate school for students who have made poor choices or been dealt hardships through no fault of their own. The school operates year-around and accepts students from Benton, Carroll, Henry, Weakley, and Henderson counties.

Carroll Academy gives students a second chance at school as an alternate to public school. The school offers discipline and compassion with small classrooms and individual attention.

School Director Randy Hatch said the New York Times editor, whose newspaper wrote a series of newspaper articles about the school, said “Carroll Academy is doing God’s work.”

A total of 4,000 students have attended the school in its 25-year history. It is funded through the budgets of five counties and through the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. Some of the students are remanded to the school by court order. Others are placed in the school with special arrangements between the various public schools and Carroll Academy.

The school was founded to help children stay in their homes and their communities and not be placed in state custody. Many students benefit through the program. Some have become educators. One now serves as the juvenile services officer in Carroll County.

Each state budget cycle, Carroll Academy has to lobby for state funding to maintain the school. State funding levels were reduced from the original amount when the school was first founded.

Governor Lee said, “Carroll Academy is a very unique educational experience that is unique to our state for some unique kids. It is obviously serving a purpose and need that is very well served here.

I am really proud to be here. It is a great program and I am very interested in how it is working. I am interested in how we might use this as a model.”

He said he wanted to see how this place operates, how effective it is and if it is something in the state. He said it was a fact-finding trip.

Lee said, “It appears it alleviates pressure from the state’s custody.” If that’s the case and the evidence is real for saving taxpayers money and having better outcomes for the kids then it would be used as a model for the state.

“It appears the kids are effectively being served here so I came back to find out in depth,” concluded the governor.

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