"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Sunday, April 21, 2019

TN Governor Plans to Weaken Local School Boards

Tennessee's new governor, Bill Lee, came into office with a plan to privatize large chunks of the state's public schools.  He has a voucher plan and a charter plan, and the charter plan has just passed the Republican-controlled state legislature.    

If signed by Lee, it will mean more state financial incentives for more charter schools and existing schools, and it will also mean that local school board decisions on new charter schools in their districts can be appealed to a state panel of charter school enthusiasts.  Just like the state panel in South Carolina state-level office that just overturned a 6-1 decision by the Charleston School Board.  So much for local control:
. . . .Compass Collegiate Academy will open despite objections by the Charleston County School Board, which rejected the school’s charter application in a 6-1 vote on April 8. On Tuesday, just eight days later, it won unanimous approval from a non-elected statewide entity: the board of the S.C. Public Charter School District.

The school plans to enroll 100 students in kindergarten through first grade when it opens, gradually expanding in later years to include 720 students through eighth grade. While the school will accept lottery applicants from anywhere in the state, its founders are looking to secure property between the Charleston Neck Area and Interstate 526 in North Charleston.

Charleston County School Board member Priscilla Jeffery said she worries about the lack of local oversight at the new charter school. At the meeting last week, she read a list of deficiencies in Compass’ application, which included the school’s plans for transportation, facilities and students with disabilities.. . .

Contact the Governor's Office at (615) 741-2001, and let him know that you elected your school board members to make decisions about your local schools: 

1 comment:

  1. Governor Bill Lee of TN is in bed with American Federation for Children (founded by Betsy DeVos) and AFC is devoted to the privatization of education in order to make bundles for their investors. These organizations are in bed with the federal government doing their dirty work in return for a good financial return. The real problem is the public is so disengaged and uninformed they are once again swallowing the snake oil made palatable by warm and fuzzy promises that will never be achieved because the promises are based on lies. Governor Lee's Policy Director is straight from AFC. He ran the TN branch of AFC. Lee also hired the very controversial Penny Schwinn, from Texas, to be Commissioner of Education. Ms. Schwinn comes from Teach For America and is a Broad Academy graduate. AFC and Broad are both all about privatization but our Governor is being led instead of leading. Ms. Schwinn's hubby is also the VP for IDEA Public Schools (charters) So now TN with its Common Core aligned standards takes the progressive high road to privatization. In the end parents will have no choice and no voice. It will be the same beverage but in a different cup.