Haslam lifts cap on charter schools
Posted: Friday, June 17, 2011 12:01 pm
MEMPHIS – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam Wednesday held a ceremonial signing of his charter schools bill, HB 1989/SB 1523 in Memphis, legislation lifting the cap on the number of charter schools allowed in the state and opening enrollment to more students.
The changes will make charter schools an option for more districts that seek to take advantage of this innovative tool and for more parents who seek educational options for their children.
The initiative is part of his first legislative package that focused on continuing the state’s progress in education reform and ultimately geared toward Haslam’s first priority: making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.
Main provisions in the charter schools legislation include:
• Removing the 90-school cap on the number of charter schools allowed in Tennessee;
• Removing the existing enrollment restrictions while maintaining the current system that gives preference to applicants who fall under the school’s focus area;
• Allowing the state Achievement School District to authorize charter schools within the district’s scope;
Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville), Speaker Pro Tempore Jamie Woodson (R-Knoxville), House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga) and Rep. Mark White (R-Memphis) sponsored the legislation, which passed both houses with bipartisan support.