Feb 12 2013
05:31 pm

Sometimes a caption bill, even with a specific sounding caption, isn't all it seems. Such is the case with HB0702 by White M, which "extends from 10 days to 20 days the time for appeal from a decision denying an application from the LEA to the state board of education."

In this case, "an application" means a charter school application. And the original bill as filed does way more than extend the time for appeal:

If the state board finds that the local board's decision was contrary to the best interests of the pupils, school district, or community, the state board shall remand the decision to the local board of education with written instructions for approval of the charter. [..] The decision of the state board shall be final and not subject to appeal.

And in case there was any doubt, proposed amendments to the bill (not yet appearing on the state legislature website at the moment) make it clear what this is all about. As written, the amendment appears to apply only to Davidson and Shelby Co. schools.

cwg's picture

The full amendment

Can be found here:


It's my understanding that the amendment would basically replace the bill itself, but there's a more complete breakdown here:


R. Neal's picture

Yes, that was the link in the

Yes, that is the same link in the original post.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Bill as amended passes House Education Subcommittee

First the all-important amendment, then the innocuous sounding bill itself survived the House Education Subcommittee today.

The room was crowded. People speaking out against the bill included Metro Nashville School Board member Amy Frogg, who predicted "shotgun weddings" in school districts, a Nashville parent, and the subcommittee's own Rep. John Forgety, (R-Athens), who expressed concern that it would usurp the authority of municipalities' duly elected Boards of Education. Rep. Harold Love (D-Nashville) worked to pin down the DoE's spokesperson, Stephen Smith, as to whether a LEA would be required to fund in any manner this hypothetical charter school it didn't want and didn't ask for. Smith's eventual answer, of course, was "yes."

No one at forum spoke in support of the bill.

Rep. Harry Brooks (R-Knoxville) offered no opinion on the amendment due to his position as Chair of the subcommittee. Nevertheless, Brooks was a second Republican voting against the amendment. When the amendment passed, though, he voted for the bill itself.

Thanks to Pith in the Wind for that rather lengthy video of the entire meeting. See "Meet the Yokel Shaping Tennessee Education."

Tamara Shepherd's picture


I neglected to add that my own 89th District representative, Baptist homeschooling Republican Roger Kane, also approved both the amendment and the bill itself on rollcall vote.

Treehouse's picture

39% tax credit?!

"Thanks to a little discussed law passed in 2000, at the end of Bill Clinton’s presidency, banks and equity funds that invest in charter schools and other projects in underserved areas can take advantage of a very generous tax credit – as much as 39% — to help offset their expenditure in such projects. In essence, that credit amounts to doubling the amount of money they have invested within just seven years." (link...)

fischbobber's picture


It seems the "results" of the private sectors involvement with public education have everything to do with return on investment and nothing to do with the actual education of our children.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go try to protect my child's access to a public system from corporate vultures on the right and slackers on the left.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Copied-and-pasted from today's e-mail newsletter from Standing Together for Strong Community Schools:

A press conference was held at 3 PM CST , Monday February 18th on steps of War Memorial Plaza in Nashville. Speakers included Metro Nashville Council and School Board Members, as well as members of the Nashville delegation of the TN General Assembly. They spoke out against the State Charter Authorizer bill that is going to be voted on Tuesday (2/19) during a House Education Committee hearing.

This legislation would take the decision to open a charter school away from locally elected school boards in Nashville and Memphis only. A state level charter authorizer would increase the reach of state government into local affairs and create additional bureaucracy. Decisions about opening new schools should be left to local officials, elected by local citizens, who understand the needs of our unique communities. The reach of any state level charter authorizer would also surely expand into more and more counties once this door is opened.

We need your support Tuesday (2/19).

If you can join us we will be gathering in room Room 16 of Legislative Plaza in Nashville at noon. We will have ST4SCS representatives speaking. Use the entrance across from TPAC auditorium under War Memorial Plaza.

If you cannot attend tomorrow (Tuesday 2/19), please contact your elected officials and let them know you are against Charter School Authorizer Bill (HB0702) and keep calling Beth Harwell at 615-741-0709.

To sign a petition that auto emails the House education committee to express your view against the Charter School Authorizer Bill (HB0702) click Stop the State Charter Authorizer.

We want to support Representative John Forgety's bill (HB0446) to amend the current role of the State Board of Education. It is a good bill.

Need to better understand why you should be against this bad legislation? Here is some helpful reading:

Legislature's Charter Authorizer Steamroller Revving Its Engine by Schooling Memphis

State charter authorizer bill singles out Nashville, Memphis by the Tennessean

State School Charter Authorizer Bill Filed by TN Ed Report/John Haubenreich

Remember Michelle Rhee's StudentsFirst gave $165,000 to the TN General Assembly's education committees in campaign cash last election cycle. These same beneficiaries are backing the Charter Authorizer bill and vouchers.

This bill is all about Great Hearts. Another "punishment" from the State of TN for Nashville and Memphis. Here is The Nashville Scene's Q & A with House Speaker Beth Harwell about her charter school bill. Did you know that MNPS approves on average 36% of all charter applications? Which is higher than the national average. So we are now changing state laws because of one school in Nashville?

Thank you everyone for bringing the real voice of public school families to the State of TN General Assembly.

(EDIT: Sorry for failing to make all those links live, but don't have time right now. Especialy curious to read up on this Fogerty proposal the group supports and will share later.)

R. Neal's picture

The committee meeting is

The committee meeting is underway now. Go here and click "view event" to watch live. This item is #2 on the agenda and there are a couple of presentations before they get to the agenda.

R. Neal's picture

Bill rolled to next available

Bill rolled to next available calendar.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Thanks, Randy.

The legislature's site now says the House bill is deferred until 4/2.

Meanwhile, coverage of today's committee meeting now up at Nashville Scene says:

Democrats—who don’t know much of anything because they are kept in the dark about everything that matters here—say they’re hearing there’s a possible compromise in the works. In this speculation, the state Board of Education would gain the authority to OK a charter school only after a school board denied the application a couple of times, and this process would apply statewide, not only in Nashville and Memphis as under Harwell’s bill now.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

This question is used to make sure you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.


TN Progressive

TN Politics

Knox TN Today

Local TV News

News Sentinel

State News

Local .GOV

State .GOV

Wire Reports

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding. (Source)

Monthly archive