Charter School Authorizer Bill Passes House Panel

AP

NASHVILLE (AP) – A measure that would create a special panel to authorize charter school applications for failing schools is advancing in the state Legislature.

The measure was approved on a voice vote in the House Budget Subcommittee on Wednesday. The companion bill is awaiting a vote in the Senate Finance Committee.

Currently local school boards decide whether to authorize a charter application. There are 48 charter schools in Tennessee.

Under the new legislation, the nine-member panel would be appointed by the governor and speakers of the House and Senate. Failing, or priority, schools would apply directly to the panel. There are about 80 failing schools.

All other schools would follow the normal process of applying to the school district, then the State Board of Education if turned down.

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