Opponents say bill transferring York Institute would harm - WSMV Channel 4

Opponents say bill transferring York Institute would harm students

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Supporters of a historic Tennessee high school descended on the state Capitol on Tuesday to fight a bill they say would seriously harm students.

It all centers on the Alvin C. York Institute, a state-run high school in Fentress County.

The campus serves some 700 students and has a long history after it was founded by World War I hero Sgt. Alvin York.

It also remains the only high school run by the state, but bills in the House and Senate would transfer the school to the county board of education over the next few years.

Local leaders say that would be an enormous burden, and the state should stand by a commitment to keep the school funded.

"The state made a promise in writing, stating the word 'forever' more than a dozen times that they would fund the school," said Philip Hall, with the Fentress County Board of Education. "A handshake is good in our community, and something in writing is even stronger."

Veterans, alumni and others gathered by the statue of Sgt. York at the capitol Tuesday, saying the man and his school carry a lot of weight in the area.

Board members also say that if the state gives up control of the school, families that granted land to the campus could reclaim their property for development.

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