Board: Great Hearts' Charter Application Must Be Approved
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Board of Education has voted unanimously to overturn Metropolitan-Nashville Public Schools' denial of a charter application from Great Hearts Academy.
The ruling Friday said Metro School board must approve the non-profit's revised application at their next meeting.
"We're not a district that has been standing in the way of charters, so the notion that we (Metro School Board) should not be given the benefit of the doubt in making those decisions is weakening our ability to guide that process for the benefit of kids," said Exec. Dir. of Charter Schools Alan Coverstone.
"I think given their application they haven't met the standards for approval in this district," he added.
The debate began in January when the Arizona-based charter operation announced plans to apply to open five schools in Nashville.
The Metro School board turned its application down twice earlier this year, citing diversity and transportation concerns.
In their revised application, they included a transportation plan that includes point-to-point busing from locations within the city and then from future academy locations. Great Hearts also addressed the diversity concerns. The charter operator said it would open enrollment to all students throughout the city, and in the event it ran out of spots, it would hold a blind lottery.
They plan to open the school for the 2014-15 school year.