Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam likes Charter Schools. In fact, he likes them so much that he wants to remove any caps on the number that can be chartered in the state and make sure locals have no say in the matter if they don’t want them.
Have some chocolate pie, it’ll make you feel better.
When Governor Haslam introduced his legislative agenda last month, removing local control over the approval of charter schools wasn’t one of the things that was heralded. Nope, most folks talked about tenure reform for those greedy no good teachers. That, of course, caused a stir that made the good Governor ask for more civil dialogue from the legislature.
I really think you need more pie now.
Of course, I guess calling for civility just five days after you said you can do what you want without the support of the loyal opposition is strategery.
Just a little more pie now…
The bill, HB 1989 would remove all limitations on who can attend Charter Schools, allow potential charter schools to apply with the state rather than the local school board, remove the cap on the number of charter schools in the state, and change the process for dealing with revocations.
The biggest issue is that local school boards will lose the right to control the public educational affairs in their districts if the state approval process goes forward.
Which raises several questions. Will the local school district have to contribute to the Charter School that it had no say in creating? What about the County Commission, who is responsible for funding a huge portion of the cost of education through property taxes, will they also have to fund these separately, through the school district that had no say in the charter school, or directly to the state?
What about the enrollment provisions. It is my understanding that Charter Schools were designed to give students from underperforming schools access to better schools in their area. By removing the requirements for enrollment, what’s to stop charter schools from cherry picking the creme of the crop and leaving the underprivileged behind?
What this really looks like to me is a Trojan Horse, that I’m sure isn’t filled with chocolate pie.