Blake Farmer of WPLN notes that legislation creating a state charter authorizer is just one vote in the Senate away from becoming law. The legislation would allow charter schools to apply directly to the state, or to apply to the state if denied by a local school board. Some have speculated that out of state organizations (like Great Hearts) will simply go straight to the state authorizer rather than dealing with the sometimes contentious local boards.
Cari Gervin points out that Governor Bill Haslam is on the board (albeit in honorary fashion) of this organization which is seeking to open a charter school in Knoxville.
If, despite all the Knoxville luminaries on the board, the group gets turned down at the local level, one wonders how receptive a state charter authorizer with members appointed by honorary board member Bill Haslam would be?