Tennessee Charter School Authorizer Bill Advances

Apr 18, 2013

Legislation that changes the way certain charter schools are authorized in Tennessee is headed to the Senate floor.

The proposal sponsored by Republican Sen. Dolores Gresham passed the Senate Finance Committee 7-3 Wednesday. The advancing measure is one of at least three proposed versions. The previous version sought to create a state panel to authorize charter schools for five counties where there are failing schools.

Currently, local school boards decide whether to authorize a charter application.

Under the latest proposal, the state Board of Education would be the authorizer in those failing counties and oversee the charter schools it approves. There are currently 48 charters operating in Tennessee.