Charter Authorizer Bill Criticized, Delayed

A bill to create a state charter authorizer has been delayed, reports WPLN, and the sponsor now says he’s listening to critics, who say the legislation unfairly singles out Nashville and Memphis.
As written, the bill would give privately run, publicly financed schools a way to open in Tennessee’s two largest urban areas without asking the school board – officially known as the local education authority or LEA.
Rep. Mark White is the sponsor and says he could be on-board with a true statewide charter authorizer if local school boards do the initial vetting.
“If we go back to the LEAs – letting them have first input on this – this will be a statewide application.”
At that point, there would be little difference in a statewide authorizer and the current appeals process. White says he just wants to reinforce that the state has the final say-so. Opponents packed a committee hearing in which the bill was ultimately put off.
Metro school board member Amy Frogge calls it a state power grab. She says opponents like herself will return.
“We’re going to be here for every hearing that comes up, so I don’t think it’s a question of waiting until we’re gone.”

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