House Dems Speak Against Nashville Schools Fine - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

House Dems Speak Against Nashville Schools Fine

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - House Democrats are speaking out against a decision by Republican Governor Bill Haslam's administration to withhold $3.4 million in state funding from Nashville because of a dispute over a charter school application.

The lawmakers held a news conference on the plaza across from the state Capitol on Tuesday afternoon.

"It should be challenged, possibly in court - because I think it's a violation of what they have done. We are going to talk to the Governor and Commissioner Huffman and point this out - and hopefully they will rethink their decision," said Representative Mike Turner. 

 

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner said the withheld funding could be subject to a legal challenge, while fellow Nashville Democrat Mike Stewart said lawmakers didn't envision the state holding the power to demand the approval of applications when they passed a law allowing more charter schools in Tennessee last year.

Haslam has said he had no choice but to agree to deny the funds to Nashville schools because of the system's refusal to follow a directive from the state school board to approve the application from Arizona-based Great Hearts Academy. But the city schools say the fine will hurt students because that money would otherwise go toward areas like transportation and maintenance.

 

Opponents of the charter school said its proposal lacked a focus on diversity.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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