NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/NewsChannel 5) - Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman said the Metro Nashville school board's decision to put off approval of a charter school application is a violation of state law.
On Tuesday night, the school board discussed the effort by Great Hearts Academies to open a school on the city's affluent west side. After two hours, the board decided to postpone a vote.
The board earlier denied the application twice. Great Hearts appealed to the State Board of Education, who then ordered the city to reconsider and approve the charter school.
On Wednesday morning, Huffman issued the state's response, saying the board was now operating in violation of state law and state officials will take appropriate action to ensure that the law is followed.
In a statement issued Wednesday morning, MNPS said "The Board's action deferred approval of the application pending Great Hearts Academy's satisfaction of the stipulations ordered by the State Board of Education.
"The application will be reviewed again when Great Hearts Academy has submitted its transportation and teacher certification plans and its acknowledgement that the application is for one charter school."
Statement from the State Board of Education:
"The State Board of Education is disappointed by the recent action regarding the indefinite deferral of the approval of the Great Hearts Charter School application. Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) had an opportunity to quickly bring closure to the process by approving the application as directed by the State Board of Education. The State Board of Education urges the MNPS Board to take the actions necessary to comply with the requirements of state law. Needless delays, the unnecessary expenditure of MNPS resources, and posturing relative to this charter school approval do not benefit the students of Nashville."
(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)