Proposed bill to de-fund York Institute 'taken off notice' - WKRN News 2

Proposed bill to de-fund York Institute 'taken off notice'

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A bill to end state funding of the York Institute was declared dead Wednesday.

The York Institute was built by one of the most decorated soldiers in World War I, Sergeant Alvin C. York.

Those who know Sgt. York say he knew the importance of a good education and sacrificed to build the York Institute after returning home from World War I.

"He had many opportunities. He could have cashed in his fame for money or other purposes, but instead he chose to fund a school in Fentress County Tennessee," said Rep. John Mark Windle.

The state took over and began running the York Institute in 1937 as a living memorial to Alvin C. York.

"We teach our children that your work means something. The state of Tennessee gave its word, not just to Alvin York, but also to the people of Upper Cumberland in Fentress County, and we simply expect the state to live by its word," said Rep. Windle.

HB 1278 and SB 1331l was proposed to end the state funding of the school.

Tuesday, nearly 200 supporters crammed into a committee room and filled the hallway on Capital Hill to show opposition to the possible de-funding of York Institute.

Wednesday, officials announced that bill was officially "taken off notice."

Alvin York's oldest living son, George York, said the school is his father's legacy.

"It is not what he did in France and winning the Medal of Honor and making the movie and everything, that is beside the point," explained York. "The point is the sacrifice that he went through with a pick and shovel digging the foundation for that school and all he went through with raising money, buying buses before the state took it over."

The supporters say they have documentation that shows the state agreed to fund the school forever, and that is what they want.

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