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Tennessee looks to override local charter caps

New York Teacher

Tennessee is on track to create a new state commission that could override local governments’ attempts to limit charter school expansion. Legislation to establish the commission passed both houses of the state Legislature, and Tennessee’s Republican governor, Bill Lee, is expected to sign it.

The commission would have nine members appointed by the governor and confirmed by legislators and would have the power to hear appeals from charter operators blocked from opening schools — authority previously held by the state’s Board of Education. The new commission’s members would be required to live in a county with at least one charter school.

State Sen. Jeff Yarbro denounced the measure and said the commission would have a pro-charter slant.

“We’ve had charters that absolutely failed kids and needed to be closed,” he said.

Associated Press, April 18
The Tennessean, April 19