Charter Governing Body - State or Local

Discussion of House Education Sub Committee on Charter School Authorizer


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About Charter Schools

Charter Schools are publicly funded k-12 schools who, in exchange for flexibility, recieve slightly less funding than public schools in their same area. Charter schools are held to strict achievement standards and are generally granted only a short-term charter, 3-5 years. All of the above lends to an environment of competition, which generally puts the charter school performing along with some of the best schools in the district.

Who Should Govern?

Local school boards have been clear, they are in direct competition for much needed funds, so the answer is no, regardless of the academic benefits to the children. Memphis City School Superintendent stated in 2011 that "When I looked at the data presented on this issue, it immediately became glaringly clear that Memphis City Schools cannot now and into the future withstand the financial impact to the district that this many (17) charter schools being approved each year would have," Basically,on the advice of legal counsel, both Memphis City Schools Supt. Kriner Cash and Shelby County Schools Supt. John Aitken recommended that the unified board deny all the applications, saying the expense of losing nearly 2,000 students to charter schools would decimate school budgets.

What we know

  • Charter Schools generally target children in failing schools
  • Charter Schools "take" money from regular public schools and do more with less
  • Local school districts are more apt to reject Charter Schools charters due to competition
  • A State governing entity could decide to accept or reject charters based on more factors than a school districts budget.
What is your stance on the matter? Should our State government be involved in approving Charter Schools in TN? FYI: A group promoting "Strong Community Schools" will be on Capitol Hill tomorrow morning speaking out against the State Authorizing agency. Info: http://strongcommunityschools.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/we-need-your-support-tuesday-at-noon/

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