KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Two East Tennessee school systems are responding to Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton’s idea to reject federal education money.

Sexton told The Associated Press that he has introduced a bill to explore the idea during this year’s legislative session. He is touting the idea as a way for Tennessee to create an education system not beholden to the federal government and the federal testing requirements.

“It would allow us to create an education system that fits the Tennessee model and allows teachers to teach without the Federal Government trying to tell us what to do,” said Sexton.

WATE reached out to several local school systems to learn how this would impact them.

“The effects of not accepting federal funding would drastically impact the Anderson County School district. The impact would be felt significantly in programs and service offered by special education, Title I, Title II, Title IV, IDEA, and Carl Perkins (Career and Technical Education). There also would be a drop in the number of employees we had as we have a significant number of people whose job is partially or fully funded by federal dollars.”

Statement from Anderson County Schools

“Federal funds are a large part of the extra supports we can offer our students and supports to teachers and programming. Without additional state funds to cover the loss of federal funds our employees would not be happy with the cuts that would have to be made.”

Tommy Arnold, Director of Schools of Jefferson County

Sexton explained during a press conference on Thursday that he believed the state could cover the loss of federal funds.

“So, all these people who are saying, ‘you’re going to do away with IDE, you’re going to do away with school lunch program, you’re going to do away with Title 1.’ That’s all bogus. The state will pick up the cost and still fund those things, but we will be free of the federal regulations,” said Sexton.

Sexton went on to say that his plan would not bring an end to standardized testing, Instead, it would allow the state to work with the teacher associations, administrators and parents to come up with a test that would work for Tennessee.