Big changes could be coming to charter schools in Tennessee

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Posted at 9:02 AM, Feb 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-22 10:02:32-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A new bill being discussed by lawmakers could shift how charter schools come to be in Tennessee.

While there are a few things it would change, one big thing is all about the application process.

If it passes, the schools would not have to go through local school boards, but directly to the Public Charter School Commission. By doing this, it would make the approval process move faster.

Another big topic in this bill comes down to space.

Charter schools would be able to use vacant properties from public schools at no cost. The bill's sponsor told the CBS affiliate out of the Tri-Cities that it would be a better use of taxpayer-funded buildings.

Essentially, these schools would not be using tax dollars to lease buildings because they would be free.

This is something that is a sticking point for the Tennessee Public Education Coalition. The group posted a thread about it on Twitter calling it a "get very rich very quick scheme" by the charter schools and their affiliated for-profit organizations.

Some are concerned it would make it easier for charter schools to get approved and to them, it means money being taken from public schools.