So Much for Local Control

For the second time in recent weeks, the Tennessee State Board of Education has overturned a local school board’s decision regarding a charter school. Chalkbeat has the story of the State Board reversing a decision by Shelby County Schools to deny a charter for Beacon College Prep:

State officials are recommending that one Memphis charter school applicant be allowed to open its proposed school, a ruling that would overturn the local school board’s September vote against the school and challenge part of the board’s new charter policy.

It’s not yet clear whether Shelby County will now grant the charter, but if they don’t, the State Board would be in charge of the school. Soon, the state’s authorizing function will shift to Governor Bill Lee’s school privatization commission.

Lee has long expressed distrust of local school boards, joining Jeremy Durham (the only legislator ever expelled from the Tennessee House of Representatives) in pushing to silence the advocacy power of local boards of education:

The proposal to silence local school boards because they oppose school vouchers is not a new one. In fact, legislation to that effect was previously proposed by Lee’s Williamson County neighbor, Jeremy Durham.

Lee indicated his support for the measure in 2017 while running for Governor.

For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport

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