Nashville Criminals Steal Guns, Take Advantage of Drivers Who Won’t Lock Doors

Thieves throughout Nashville are stealing firearms from other people’s vehicles and even stealing the vehicles themselves because the owners aren’t locking their vehicle doors. “This, according to a press release that members of the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) published this week.

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Victor Davis Hanson Commentary: The New Regressive Dark Ages

Once upon a time long ago, we agreed there were certain immutable laws of human nature. These laws were based on facts, reality, and data. 

In other words, we accepted common sense about the way the world worked according to logical and even “scientific” principles. That assumption defined us as “enlightened” rather than Dark Age reductionists and ideological- or myth-driven zealots. 

Not now. “Progressives,” especially the media, are most often regressive, anti-Enlightenment, and intolerant people, who start with a deductive premise and then make the evidence conform to it—or else. 

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Apparent Break-In Occurred at Georgia Warehouse Housing Ballots at Center of Pending Election Audit

Downtown Atlanta

An apparent break-in occurred at the ballot-holding warehouse where the ballots for the pending Fulton County, Georgia audit were housed. According to reports, security guards hired by Fulton County left the facility. About 20 minutes later, the facility’s alarm was set off. A security detail hired by the plaintiffs’ attorney, Bob Cheeley, relayed to reporters that the facility door was wide open.

The audit concerns over 145,000 ballots from the presidential election. President Joe Biden won Georgia with just over 12,600 votes.

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Analysis: Deficit Will Top $3.6 Trillion in Fiscal Year 2021 as $7.27 Trillion of the National Debt Comes Due in the 2022

United States currency

The annual budget deficit has already hit $1.9 trillion and counting for the fiscal year that will end in September, according to the U.S. Treasury’s April statement, and it will reach as high as $3.6 trillion this year, says the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Comparatively, in 2020, the deficit totaled about $3.1 trillion for the entire year.

This comes amid the massive government spending in response to the Covid pandemic, including the $2.2 trillion CARES Act in March 2020, the $900 billion phase four legislation in Dec. 2020 and then President Joe Biden’s additional $1.9 trillion Covid stimulus bill in March 2020. Another $2.1 trillion infrastructure plan is in the works. And now, Biden is offering his $6 trillion budget, which will blow another $1.8 trillion hole in the deficit in 2022.

As a result, 33 percent of marketable national debt, or about $7.27 trillion of the $22 trillion of publicly held debt, will be coming due within the next year, according to the latest data by the U.S. Treasury. For perspective, that’s more debt than existed as recently as 2003.

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Madison Becomes Last of Wisconsin’s Five Largest Cities to Face Election Complaint

Absentee ballot form

This capital city has become the fifth and last of Wisconsin’s so-called WI-5 cities to face a formal complaint alleging violations of election law in the November presidential contest in which Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump.

Saying they are concerned about liberal groups entrenched in administration of Wisconsin elections, a crowd of about nearly 140 turned out for a “Standing Up for Voter Integrity” rally at the State Capitol.

The sponsor of the rally, the Wisconsin Voter Alliance, has led legal challenges to the third-party groups accused of infiltrating the elections in Madison and the Badger State’s four other largest, most heavily Democrat cities.

“As I talk to citizens around Wisconsin, there still are a lot of questions about CTCL [the Center for Tech and Civic Life] and their involvement in the 2020 election,” state Rep. Janel Brandtjen, R-Menomonee Falls, said. “The lack of oversight of these [outside] groups should concern everyone in the state of Wisconsin as we work toward transparent elections.”

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“CTCL and the other 12 nonprofits in Wisconsin cast a shadow of doubt over voting integrity for all elections moving forward,” Brandtjen said.

Few red flags appear more concerning to her and other observers than the Chicago-based Center for Tech and Civic Life’s network of liberal voting activists, who, according to emails obtained by Wisconsin Spotlight, became deeply involved in administering the November election in Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha, and Racine.

In final official results in Wisconsin, Biden defeated Trump by 49.6% of the vote to 48.9%, flipping a state with 10 electoral votes that Trump won in 2016.

Brandtjen is chairwoman of the Wisconsin Assembly’s Committee on Campaigns and Elections, the panel charged with investigating last year’s elections. She was joined at the rally Tuesday by state Rep. Shae Sortwell, R-Two Rivers; state Rep. Dave Murphy, R-Greenville; and state Sen. Andre Jacque, R-De Pere.

As the new complaint filed Monday against Madison lays out, the Center for Tech and Civic Life showered the WI-5 cities with more than $8 million in grant funding, with Madison receiving more than $1.27 million of the cut. The complaint, filed Tuesday, names Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, a Democrat, and City Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl.

In total, CTCL received $400 million from Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, ostensibly to promote “safe and secure” elections during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, critics say, Zuckerberg’s mammoth social network was silencing many conservatives and conservative viewpoints.

Emails show liberal activists and election officials sharing raw voter data and discussing how best to maximize turnout of traditionally Democratic voters in “areas with predominantly minorities.”

The Center for Tech and Civic Life’s partners literally got the keys to absentee ballots as one long-time Democratic operative offered to “cure” ballots. The complaints allege CTCL, its partners, and city officials usurped authority solely granted to local and state elections officials under state law and the U.S. Constitution.

Mary Baldwin, one of five Madison citizens who made the latest complaint, said it’s time for Wisconsin voters to stand up and be counted.

A grandmother of five, Baldwin said she has seen a lot in her life, but what she saw at the polls in November was deeply concerning.

“I want my country to be OK for my children and grandchildren,” Baldwin said. “I don’t think it was a fair election. Five states were targeted. Wisconsin was one of them.”

Although the Center for Tech and Civic Life and its defenders argue that the left-leaning group handed out election administration grants to communities across the country, that funding was skewed heavily to liberal strongholds, particularly in battleground states such as Wisconsin.

Ron Heuer, president of the Wisconsin Voter Alliance, said he is relieved to have complaints filed against all five Wisconsin cities. But the fight is far from over, Heuer said.

“We will continue to litigate,” Heuer said. “We’re now going to see more personal litigation, going after individuals.”

Wisconsin Elections Commission spokesman Reid Magney said the commission had not received the complaint as of Tuesday afternoon, but would have no comment.

As with the other complaints, the allegations in Madison will be reviewed by outside counsel, which has asked the cities and state Election Administrator Meagan Wolfe to respond by June 15. Wolfe is named as a respondent in the complaint.

Emails show that Wolfe attempted to connect election officials in four Wisconsin cities with one of CTCL’s partners. Wolfe, the complaint alleges, publicly signaled her approval of the funding plan in defiance of state law.

A spokeswoman for Rhodes-Conway, Madison’s mayor, did not respond to a request for comment. The city clerk’s office directed all questions to Madison City Attorney Mike Haas.

“If the WEC requires a response we will submit a response,” Haas said in a curt email.

Baldwin, who refers to herself as “the right Baldwin” in a city that’ is home to U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., said she wants to do her part to make sure every legal vote is counted.

“It’s critical that we all vote. We have to take that first step,” she said. “But I want my vote to count for the party I voted for, the individuals I voted for.”

In the end, Wisconsin’s five largest cities saw massive turnout, with Biden substantially benefiting from it.

The Democratic nominee won Milwaukee with nearly 79% of the vote to Trump’s 19.6%. In Milwaukee County, Biden claimed more than 69% of the vote.

In Dane County, home to far-left Madison, the state’s capital, Biden beat Trump 76% to 23%.

Biden won by more than 6,000 votes in the city of Kenosha, but lost Kenosha County to Trump, 50.8% to 47.7%.

Biden won Green Bay by about 4,000 votes, but lost surrounding Brown County to Trump, 52.8% to 45.6%. Trump also won Racine County with 51.3%, although Biden picked up more votes in the city of Racine.

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Montana Attorney General Bans Critical Race Theory

"End Racism Now" sign and "Black Lives Matter" in a crowd

The highest-ranking prosecutor in the state of Montana has declared Critical Race Theory to be a violation of state and federal law, and has banned the far-left theory in Montana’s schools, as reported by ABC News.

Attorney General Austin Knudsen (R-Mont.) made his announcement on Thursday, after he was asked for his opinion by the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Erise Arntzen (R-Mont.). His declaration bans the concept not only from Montana’s schools, but from employee training as well.

The far-left American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a statement criticizing Knudsen’s decision, falsely accusing him of attempting to “impose an alternate version of American history – one that erases the legacy of discrimination and lived experiences of black and brown people.”

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California Offering Awards Totaling $116.5M to Get Vaxxed

COVID Vaccine sticker

Governor Newsom announced Thursday a $116.5 million vaccine incentive program including $1.5 million in cash prizes to encourage Californians to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

California follows other states in offering big vaccine incentive payouts, New York is giving out scratch-off tickets for the chance to win up to $5 million, according to Politico.

“California has already made incredible progress in the fight against COVID-19, with the lowest case rates in the country while administering millions more vaccines than any other state,” Newsom said in a release. “But we aren’t stopping there, we’re doing everything it takes to get Californians vaccinated as we approach June 15 to help us fully reopen safely.”

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Commentary: Florida Governor DeSantis Strikes Back Against Big Tech Censorship

Person holding phone up in Times Square.

After months of aggressively censoring what it called “COVID-19 misinformation,” Facebook recently announced that it would no longer block user posts claiming that the coronavirus was “man-made” or “manufactured.” That’s because those posts, which typically referenced the work of scientists who supported the idea of a possible coronavirus “lab leak” from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, now appear to have been credible.

This entire episode should be extremely embarrassing for Facebook, a company so confident it has cornered the market on “truth” that it has made it their prerogative to “fact-check” individual user posts, banning anything that fails to comport with Silicon Valley’s extreme left-wing view of reality. Last year, Facebook banned an ad from the American Principles Project PAC claiming Joe Biden and the Democrats would destroy girls’ sports by supporting policies that allowed boys who identify as transgender to compete against girls.

Facebook said the ad was “missing context,” and so our PAC wasn’t allowed to communicate with voters. On Joe Biden’s first day as president, he signed an executive order specifically allowing these boys to compete in girls’ sports.

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Commentary: New York and New Jersey Are Among the Top 10 States Where Residents Pay the Highest Lifetime Taxes

Tax withholding forms

In the mood for a depressing statistic? A new report from the financial services firm Self concludes that the average American will pay an astounding $525,037 in taxes over their lifetime—roughly 34 percent of their lifetime earnings. 

But the numbers aren’t uniform across the country; they vary wildly from state to state. Based on taxes on earnings, spending, property, and cars, here are the 10 states where residents pay the highest taxes over a lifetime.

1. New Jersey

Topping the list is New Jersey, where residents will, on average, owe an astounding $932,000 in taxes over their lifetime. That’s nearly 50 percent of their typical lifetime earnings!

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Court Grants Injunction in Tennessee Restaurant Owner’s Case over Recovery Money

Inside of a bar, view of the drink selection on the wall

A federal appeals court ruled in favor of a Tennessee bar and restaurant owner, granting an injunction against the U.S. Small Business Administration from prioritizing COVID-19 relief funds based upon the restaurant owner’s race and sex.

Two of the three judges on the panel agreed with the injunction, which is subject to appeal. Tennessee U.S. District Judge Travis McDonough ruled last week against the lawsuit, filed by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, a nonprofit conservative law firm, on behalf of Antonio Vitolo, owner of Jake’s Bar and Grill in Harriman.

WILL appealed the decision. The lawsuit was filed May 12 in the Eastern District of Tennessee.

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Senators Propose $1 Billion to Aid DHS in Addressing Future Migrant Surges

Members of Galveston County S.W.A.T. work with with Customs and Border Protection Agents during Maritime Tactical Operations Group vessel boarding training in the Houston Ship Channel, Aug. 23, 2016.

Senators introduced legislation that would require federal agencies tasked with managing migration at the border to make strategic plans and allow access to $1 billion in contingency funding, lawmakers announced Friday.

Republican Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and Democratic Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly introduced the Border Response Resilience Act that would establish a $1 billion “Irregular Migration Border Response Fund” for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide food, clothing, blankets, and transportation for unaccompanied migrant minors and family members without having to transfer funding allocated to border security, according to the lawmakers. The act would require federal officials to make plans and “conduct exercises to improve the federal response to increased migration at the border.”

“DHS has been unprepared for unlawful migrant surges at our southern border in 2014, 2019, and again during the current crisis. This is unacceptable. DHS and other federal agencies must be able to respond immediately to the need for shelter for migrants as well as additional personnel to handle surging numbers of unlawful migrants at our border,” Portman said in a statement.

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Campus ‘Diversity’ Training Challenged as Unconstitutional Compelled Speech

Last week, employees from BSEE and its sister agency the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) participated in training sessions offered by the Diversity Change Agent (DCA) team to increase cultural awareness, knowledge, and skills. Topics of the workshops included attitude, inclusion, change management, overcoming stereotypes, and conflict management.

Two public universities responded very differently to recent allegations of unconstitutional “compelled speech.”

Rutgers University’s law school apparently told its student government to ditch a requirement that student organizations host events on critical race theory to be eligible for funding.

The University of Oklahoma, on the other hand, refused to stop requiring faculty and staff, including some graduate students, to complete a diversity training that requires them to say things they don’t necessarily believe.

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Commentary: Paul Ryan Was an Ineffective Leader of the Republican Party

Paul Ryan

We aren’t actually governed by Paul Ryan, whose brief time as House Speaker ended in what can only be described as a surrender. Ryan bolted from the Speaker’s chair the minute the 2018 elections were over. He was happy to leave Congress to take a “cashing-in” job on the Fox Corporation board while his party took an electoral bath in those midterms he could blame on Donald Trump.

But as readers of The American Spectator know, in this space we’ve been exploring the premise that Americans are governed by people who suck. And Ryan put himself in that category even from outside the elective-office sphere this week when he offered up a tired and tiresome narrative about the future of the Republican Party.

What is it with these washed-up politicians, who are clearly the party’s past, demanding the GOP follow their instructions as to its future? Do we have to exhume the remains of Nelson Rockefeller and Thomas Dewey or conduct seances with them for guidance in how to defeat the 21st-century Left?

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Ralph Northam Signs Bill Forcing Some Virginia Universities to Start Reparations Scholarships

Ralph Northam

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed a bill requiring several universities to start programs benefiting descendants of slave laborers.

The “Enslaved Ancestors College Access Scholarship and Memorial Program” was established “for the purpose of reckoning with the history of the Commonwealth” and “acknowledging that the foundational success of several public institutions of higher education was based on the labor of enslaved individuals.”

The bill — signed by Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) on May 5 — forces Longwood University, the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, the Virginia Military Institute, and the College of William and Mary to implement the program “with any source of funds other than state funds or tuition or fee increases.”

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New ‘SunPass PRO’ Expands Prepaid Toll Program to Include 19 States

Sunrise Toll Plaza

Florida’s prepaid toll program, SunPass, announced the addition of the SunPass PRO on Friday that will allow Floridians to travel through other states’ tolls with only one toll account.

The announcement comes after the Florida Turnpike Enterprise partnered with 35 toll agencies across 19 states who utilize E-ZPass for prepaid tolls which will now accept SunPass PRO.

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Peloton Picks Ohio for Its First U.S. Factory

Peloton bike

Peloton Interactive announced plans to build its first U.S. factory in Ohio, creating more than 2,000 jobs and investing more than $400 million in the state-of-the-art factory.

The new facility, in Troy Township between Toledo and Bowling Green, will be named Peloton Output Park and will produce Peloton Bike, Bike+ and Peloton Tread starting in 2023. It will employee 2,174 people and generate $138 million in new payroll.

The state approved a 2.301%, 15-year job creation tax credit for the company.

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Michigan High School Valedictorian Forbidden from Mentioning Christianity in Graduation Speech

Silhouette of graduate holding up graduation cap

A high school valedictorian in Michigan is being prohibited by the school from mentioning her Christian faith in her graduation speech, the Daily Caller reports.

The student, Elizabeth Turner, is the valedictorian of Hillsdale High School in Hillsdale, Michigan. Upon submitting the draft of her speech to the school, the speech was returned to her with several passages censored due to her mentioning Jesus Christ and her Christian faith. The justification given by the school’s principal, Amy Goldsmith, was that discussing Christianity was “not appropriate” and would not be “representing the school.”

“You are representing the school in your speech, not using the podium as your public forum,” Goldsmith said in her comments on the Google Doc version of the speech. “We need to be mindful about the inclusion of religious aspects. These are your strong beliefs, but they are not appropriate for a speech in a public school setting.”

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Texas Democrats Walk out to Stop GOP Voting Reform Bill, Abbott to Call Special Session

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott speaking at FreePac, hosted by FreedomWorks, in Phoenix, Arizona.

Texas House Democrats on Sunday night staged a walkout to block their Republican counterparts’ sweeping voter-reform legislation.

The move blocked the passage of the bill by effectively ending the Texas legislature’s session. However, GOP Gov. Greg Abbott quickly announced that he would order a special session to finish the process, and achieve a top state GOP legislative priority.

The walkout is one of Democrats’ biggest protests to date against Republican efforts across the country to enact measures to tighter security on state election systems, according to the Associated Press.

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Florida State University Refuses to Cancel Namesake of Football Stadium

Florida State University Tomahawk Chop

The Florida State University Seminoles will kick off their 2021 season in Doak Campbell Stadium once again, after university officials refused to cancel the stadium’s namesake.

The announcement to keep Campbell, a former president of the public university, on the stadium came after several task forces had debated the issue and an FSU grad had petitioned the school to rename the stadium.

The university’s anti-racism task force voted 12-7 against the renaming, after its Historical Legacy Subcommittee voted 3-3 on the name, according to the Tallahassee Democrat, a local paper.

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Robins Air Force Base in Georgia Announces New Missions to Counter China, Russia, and Iran

U.S. Air Force in flight

The U.S. Air Force has announced plans to bring four new missions, including new aircraft, to Robins Air Force Base (AFB), in Houston County, Georgia, beginning fiscal year 2022. This according to a press release that Robins’ AFB officials published this week.

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Georgia Lawmakers to Study Crime in Atlanta

Police line do not cross tape

Georgia lawmakers will study the rise in crime in Atlanta this summer.

The House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee plans to hold a series of hearings to look at the causes and solutions for the increase in crime in the state’s capital city.

“We want to have productive hearings that can get down to exactly what’s going on because, as you all know, the success of the city of Atlanta is directly impacted by the success of Georgia and vice versa,” Committee Chair J. Collins, R-Villa Rica, said.

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Georgia AG Chris Carr Prosecutes Former Pickens County Judge for Public Corruption

Attorney General Chris Carr

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced this month that the office’s Prosecution Division has concluded its case against Judge William “Allen” Wigington, a former Chief Magistrate Judge in Pickens County. Wigington was found guilty of one count of racketeering, three counts of fourth-degree forgery, five counts of theft by taking, 39 counts of unauthorized use of a financial transaction card, and one count of violation of oath of office. In total, his crimes amounted to 44 felonies and five misdemeanors. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He will serve five years in custody, followed by the remainder on probation.

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Ohio Town Becomes ‘Sanctuary City’ for Unborn

The city of Lebanon is Ohio’s first “sanctuary city” for the unborn, after the Lebanon City Council voted to unanimously to ban abortions. 

“The ordinance makes getting or assisting in an abortion a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to $2,500 in fines and up to a year in jail, according to City Attorney Mark Yurick,” Fox19 reported. “It also bans providing money or assistance to anyone seeking an abortion, even if the abortion takes place outside of the city limits.”

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DeSantis Not Backing Down on Cruise Vaccine Passports

After banning vaccine passports from the Sunshine State by law and by executive order, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is now tasked with bringing the cruise ship industry, a proponent of such passports, to heel. 

“We are going to enforce Florida law,” DeSantis said Friday. “I mean, we have Florida law. We have laws that protect the people and the privacy of our citizens, and we are going to enforce it.”

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Newport News Moves Elections to November Under Duress

Downtown Newport News

The City of Newport News has voted to move its municipal elections from May to November, but even as they passed the ordinance, the city council members made it clear that they don’t think the change is a good idea. The change is required by legislation passed in the 2021 General Assembly session that goes into effect January 1, 2022.

“I think it really puts us in a tenuous situation. We have always worked as a council without being concerned about party lines and it seems like something of this nature may cause us to begin to look at things based on  party and not based on what’s best for the City of Newport News,” Vice Mayor Saundra Cherry said.

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Backlog of DMV Appointments for Minneapolis’ Hennepin County Extends into August

Inside DMV, people standing in line

Residents of Hennepin County should not expect to renew their licenses, get a Real ID, or transfer a vehicle title anytime soon, as DMV branches across the county are experiencing long wait times for appointment bookings.

A calendar of available times for each branch and appointment type reveals that some branches don’t have open appointments until August.

For residents who go to the Ridgedale DMV branch, the earliest opening is currently August 2 for all services, including Real ID, enhanced license, state ID, vehicle title transfer, and license plate tab appointments.

On April 26, a source close to Alpha News scheduled an appointment at the Ridgedale DMV intending to update a home address on his driver’s license, and the earliest availability at the time was July 12.

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University of Tennessee, Knoxville to Require SAT, ACT Scores For Home-Schoolers, But Not For Public School Students Through Fall 2025

Person filling in exam answers

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) will be test-optional until fall 2025 for all applicants – unless you were home-schooled. UTK will prohibit home-schoolers from capitalizing on their test-optional policy, as well as those students from schools that didn’t use alpha or numerical grading systems. UTK said their decision reflected a commitment to equity in a press release issued on Thursday.

The test-optional policy doesn’t mean that eligible applicants get a free pass entirely from admissions. According to the UTK admissions page, applicants that don’t submit their ACT or SAT scores will be considered a “test-optional applicant” and must submit an additional essay. However, the essay has less to do with academics and more to do with character – the current prompt this year asks applicants to recount an example of their leadership in a personal essay.

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