Virtual School Cap Passes; Charter Schools Delayed - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Virtual School Cap Passes; Charter Schools Delayed

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee House has approved a proposal that caps enrollment in virtual schools.

The House voted 66-29 Tuesday to pass the bill that allows beginning online schools an enrollment of 1,500 with the ability to expand as long as they meet performance requirements.

If they fail to do so for three consecutive years, then the state education commissioner could chose to cap enrollment or direct the local school board to close the school.

Meanwhile Tuesday, a proposal to create a state panel to authorize charter schools for five counties was delayed in the Senate Finance Committee.

The measure was put off on Tuesday for at least the second time in about two weeks. The first time was due to the panel's lack of oversight. An amendment was proposed to address that on Tuesday, but then the vice chairman of the committee said the legislation should apply to all counties and not just five.

The bill's sponsor delayed a vote to try to address lawmakers' concerns.

The panel would be able to overrule local school board decisions on charter applications in the lowest-performing school districts. As proposed, only five counties would be affected: Davidson, Hamilton, Hardeman, Knox and Shelby.

Currently, local school boards decide whether to authorize a charter application.

Another education-related bill to allow school employees who are current or former law enforcement officers and meet certain requirements to carry guns in elementary, middle and high schools passed 82-15 in the House.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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