MNPS Board Refuses to Follow State Directive

The Metro school board ignored a state directive and voted to defer reconsideration of a controversial charter school. Image courtesy MNPS.

A power struggle played out at the Metro Schools central office Tuesday night. The school board bucked a state directive and refused to approve a charter application by Great Hearts Academies.

The board voted 7-to-2 not to back down. It’s the same vote margin as when the charter school was last denied. Great Hearts appealed to the state board of education, which quickly ordered Metro to reverse its decision.

Outgoing board member Ed Kindall initially criticized the charter school proposal for catering only to middle and upper class families. Nothing has changed his mind.

“I don’t know what the consequences are if we say no, but I for one will not be bullied into voting yes for this application.”

Great Hearts supporter and another outgoing board member Kay Simmons said there could be unforeseen ramifications.

“I just want to say, we are breaking the law by doing this. I just think that needs to be fully understood.”

The board’s attorney says the panel is at least breaking a state directive. Great Hearts could ask a court to intervene and possibly file suit for damages.

The Metro school board will swear-in four newly elected members at its next meeting. They could reverse course.

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