Officials with the Tennessee Department of Education announced late last week that they will give $1 million of taxpayer money to Tennessee’s six PBS stations to help educate students throughout the state.
As reported last year, several organizations, including the Family Research Council, have faulted PBS’ educational materials for what they call a left-leaning bias.
TDE Commissioner Penny Schwinn announced in a press release that TDE officials would give money to the network, which already, in part, accepts government funding.
“In collaboration with Tennessee teachers and districts, the department created an at-home learning series with over 300 instructional classroom video lessons for first-through eighth-grade students airing across all six Tennessee PBS stations since the spring,” the press release said.
TDE officials said in the press release that they obtained this $1 million from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) through the CARES Act.
“This winter, families and students have had the opportunity to utilize the Winter Foundations Bootcamp, which focuses on literacy and math foundational skills for Pre-K through Second-grade students with additional content on science,” the press release said.
“These lessons are airing on all six Tennessee PBS stations weekdays from 9 a.m.–11 a.m. CT through the end of January. The schedule and additional information can be found on the department’s website. Since April, the department has aired academic instructional classroom videos on Tennessee’s PBS stations across the state. The video lessons are also available on the department’s YouTube page and have had more than 100,000 views there since the spring.”
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, writing for The Daily Signal in 2019, said PBS uses “taxpayer dollars promoting the agenda of the far left.”
“When Donald Trump became president, one of the first things his budget proposed was slashing the $445 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The left always pleads with Republicans to lay off Bert and Ernie, but what they really mean is: Don’t stop funding the left’s free microphone,” Perkins wrote.
“For years, NPR and PBS have taken advantage of the airwaves to spout their radical agenda. And in the end, taxpayers are the ones that have been puppets – for the left.”
Meanwhile, Mary Grabar and Tina Trent, who are both academics, called out PBS lesson plans as “biased educational materials” on Accuracy in Media in 2012.
Tennessee’s six PBS stations are WNPT Nashville, East Tennessee PBS, WCTE Upper Cumberland, WKNO Memphis, West TN PBS, and Chattanooga WTCI.
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