State Board of Education Releases Reports on Five Charter School Appeals
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 17, 2020
CONTACT: Elizabeth Tullos
On Thursday, the Executive Director of the State Board of Education, Dr. Sara Morrison, released the reports of her findings on the charter application appeals for Cornerstone Prep School, Ivy Prep Academy, KIPP Antioch College Prep High School, Memphis School of Excellence - Cordova, and Nashville Collegiate Prep.
Tennessee Code Annotated (T.C.A.) § 49-13-108 allows a sponsor whose amended application has been denied by a local board of education to appeal that decision to the State Board of Education. Pursuant to T.C.A. § 49-13-108 and State Board Policy 2.500, State Board staff and independent charter application review committees conducted de novo, on the record reviews of the amended applications under appeal as well as virtual public hearings.
In order to overturn the decision of the local board of education on a charter school application, the State Board must find that the local board’s decision to deny the charter application was contrary to the best interests of the students, local education agency (LEA), or community. Since each application is proposing to locate within a LEA that contains a school on the current or last preceding Priority SchoolList, the State Board has the ability to approve the application or to affirm the local board’s decision to deny the application.
The executive director’s findings and recommendations reports for each appeal are available on the State Board of Education website. Each report includes the findings of the public hearings, information from the LEAs and sponsors, and the review committee’s report. Members of the Board will vote on the five charter application appeals at their September 21, 2020 meeting. The State Board will consider the executive director’s recommendations when rendering a decision on an appeal, but the Board is not bound by these recommendations.
The Tennessee State Board of Education is a ten-member, governor-appointed and legislatively confirmed board charged under the law with rulemaking and policymaking for K-12 education. Through a close partnership with the Tennessee Department of Education, the Board maintains oversight in K-12 implementation and academic standards.