(NASHVILLE, TN), February 11, 2011 – Local State Senator Ken Yager said today he has asked Governor Bill Haslam to include recurring funding at the present level for York Agricultural Institute in the state’s 2011-12 budget. Yager has fought for restoration of state funding for the 700-student high school located in Fentress County for the past two years.
Last year, the Bredesen Administration recommended the Legislature cut the $2.3 million in essential funding for the school. However, the funds were restored on a non-recurring basis under action led by Senator Yager.
“We must keep the commitment made 85 years ago to World War I hero Sargent Alvin York to fund the school he struggled to build,” said Senator Yager. “I will continue to fight for full funding of this school and for it to continue on a recurring basis so we don’t have to go this uncertainty every budget year.”
York Agricultural Institute was started by Sargent Alvin C. York shortly after World War I as a model for rural education for the impoverished children in upper East Tennessee. In 1925, the state committed to support the school and has provided funding since that time. As a State Special School, York has received additional state funding over the support generated by the current Basic Education Program with the fiscal year 2011-12 budget appropriating an additional $2.3 million.
“Any cuts in this funding would create a great financial hardship for residents of Fentress County who are already suffering from high unemployment and job loss,” added Yager. “I am hopeful that the governor will recognize the historic, economic and educational importance of this institution as we consider this year’s budget.”