Beacon Center of Tennessee’s 2021 Pork Report Lambastes Metro Nashville Public Schools for Government Waste


Staff at the Beacon Center of Tennessee on Wednesday bestowed the Metro Nashville Public School System (MNPS) with their yearly Pork of the Year Award, for more reasons than one.

Beacon, a Nashville-based center right think tank, published their 2021 Pork Report on Wednesday.

“In an absolutely nonsensical move, MNPS decided to shut down schools from any in-person learning because of the health risks of COVID, but at the same time partnered with the YMCA to offer free in-person childcare for kindergarten through fifth grade students and, ironically, the children of MNPS employees,” according to The Pork Report.

“If the city decided COVID was so dangerous that they couldn’t have any in-person learning for children, in what universe does it make sense to send a select group of students to the YMCA in order to…learn in-person?”

Beacon said the MNPS also entered into an $18 million no-bid contract with Meharry Medical College Ventures. According to the new report, this venture produced a $1.8 million website with “all the visual appeal and functionality of”

Beacon officials said in their report that this website should have cost no more than $75,000.

“Governments should never give out no-bid contracts, especially when $18 million is involved. Additionally, government contracts should be detailed and transparent,” Beacon staff said in its report.

“This horrific deal should be audited by the state to see where things went wrong and who is responsible for such a raw deal for taxpayers.”

Other 2021 Pork Report entries included the following:

• A $702 million government-owned broadband plan in Knoxville, despite 98 percent of Knoxville residents having multiple choices in broadband internet

• A $20 million and counting taxpayer gift to build a waterpark in Jackson

• Davidson’s County continued “emissions testing” tax grab that was deemed unnecessary by both the state legislature and the Environmental Protection Agency

• Hamilton County’s $16 million purchase of nearly 2,200 acres to turn into a manufacturing hub, yet only about one-third of the land is ready for development

Beacon staff said they used state and local budgets, media reports, state audits, and independent research to compile their report.

Last year, Beacon cited Nashville’s 34 percent property tax increase as the 2020 “Pork of the Year.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Nashville City Hall” by Nicolas Henderson. CC BY 2.0.



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3 Thoughts to “Beacon Center of Tennessee’s 2021 Pork Report Lambastes Metro Nashville Public Schools for Government Waste”

  1. John

    It’s not just Metro schools, it is EVERY part of government. Every single time federal money is handed out, these people spend every last single cent of it on whatever. They do this because they have to send back what isn’t used.

    Wilson County School District spent federal money on a workout room for (what is known as) the central office. They hung a sign on the door that said “janitor’s closet”, trying to hide it from the public. It was eventually discovered, but much like any Democrat politician, nobody was held accountable.

  2. rick

    All of this crap is sickening, The lady that is supt of MNPS needs to be in prison along with Commie Cooper . This deal with Meharry Medical is beyond corrupt, Meharry what a joke of an institution, a federal money s – -t hole. Eighteen million ($18 million) no bid – how corrupt can you be. They are minorities and democrats they can get away with anything.

  3. Randy

    Despite these pearls of government supported incentives for fraud, we can’t seem to elect true fiscal Knox County. You forgot to mention the Baseball Stadium that is being funded with Sate, city and County tax dollars for a guy that can write a check for it himself.