The Williamson County Schools Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution Monday evening urging the Tennessee General Assembly and all committees or subcommittees considering Bill 2833 and Bill 2168 of Senate to take no action to advance the proposed legislation.
The bill as introduced would reduce the review and approval time for charter school applications from 90 to 75 days, add a provision allowing charter schools to choose whether to use a school building whose use is equal to or less than 50% of the Local Education Agency (LEA) and, pursuant to council resolution, make changes to funding related to facility use and other provisions that reduce local decision-making power.
The WCS resolution argues that the current timeframe for reviewing charter school applications already requires quick turnaround and that the 50% provision would allow two separate schools with two administrations with different rules and schedules to run the school in the same school building.
He goes on to explain that a building containing common areas such as gymnasiums, offices, halls and libraries intended for one school cannot accommodate a second school.
The specific provision in the House bill would allow licensed charter schools to move into taxpayer-funded “underutilized” (50% or less) and vacant school buildings while paying nothing or very little to the local district.
The resolution also posits that the House bill does not provide for the growth in demand for registration and that “the proposed legislation reduces local decision-making on matters that are best made by local elected bodies knowing the conditions.” local”.
District 4 Board Member Josh Brown moved to amend the resolution to state that it was made to emphasize local control and does not represent the point of board’s view of charter schools in general. The exact wording of the amendment that was passed unanimously by the board read: “This resolution in no way represents the position of the board on charter schools generally.”