TREE Takes on Charter Expansion

As the State Board of Education considers overruling the MNPS School Board and possibly approving charter schools for Nashville originally denied at the local level, grassroots advocacy group TREE is calling on citizens to take action.

From the inbox:

Attention Nashville and Tennessee Education Advocates! We need you to write the Tennessee State Board of Education TODAY! Be a voice for local control. Metro Schools recently approved two of fourteen charter applications.  Among the ten who were denied were KIPP, Rocketship and The International Academy of Excellence.

The International Academy of Excellence filled out an incorrect form and should have not been considered at all but was for legal reasons. These three charter companies are asking the State Board of Education to overrule the Nashville school board and divert funds from the Metro Schools budget to pay for opening their six proposed charter schools.

If you would like to see the local school board retain the ability to decide how to spend local tax dollars, and what schools should operate in Nashville, you must speak up NOW. Public comments are being received until October 7. Please copy this email list into your email recipient box:
Fielding Rolston <>
Mike Edwards <>
Allison Chancey <>
Lonnie Roberts <>
Carolyn Pearre <>
Lillian Hartgrove <>

It is fine to be brief. A few points you might to make:

1. Note if you are a Nashville taxpayer and/or public school parent.
2. Nashville currently has 8,112 charter school seats and will open another 8,157 over the next few years, under current approved charter contracts, effectively doubling the amount of charter school seats without ever approving another charter.
3. There is no evidence of demand for more charters and in fact there are currently many empty seats in Nashville charter schools.
4. If the state board of education overrules the local school board, it will force our city to fund a privatized public school.  A school that can not be shut down by our locally elected board if problems arise.
5. Nashville must be free to put its schools budget to the best use to improve education for ALL students. Under the law MNPS must adhere to their contract with approved charters and fully fund them.  Whatever amount is left gets divvied up among the remaining schools in the district continuing the trend of systematic underfunding which means not meeting the needs of our schools.

Thank you for your time and quick attention. Your voice is needed TODAY!

For more on the charter debate in Nashville:

The True Cost of Charters

Mary Pierce on Closing Charters

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


One thought on “TREE Takes on Charter Expansion

  1. It’s fine to be for/against something and advocate that way, but at least be honest with the facts when you send them to people. Bending on facts really weakens your position and it’s disingenuous to try and rally people based on things that are not true.

    -Charters are not in any way cause of “underfunding”. The revenue streams to the district have nothing to do with if there is 1 or 100 charters. Also, the per pupil allocation formula actually allocates more to district students when they calculate the charter amount. It’s also not the district’s money where they have some first right – the education dollars belong to the students. If there were no charters, it is certain that there would be a lower per pupil amount available for each student in the district.

    -Demand is high with charters and continues to be (if it really wasn’t, you and others wouldn’t be worried about enrollment growth in charters)

    -“A school that can not be shut down by our locally elected board if problems arise.”

    The State Board could approve these applications and MNPS could become the authorizer. Or if the SBOE becomes the authorizer, I’m confident in their high quality authorizing standards that they’d revoke a charter if the situation was warranted.

    Come on Andy, at least be straight with the facts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.