Charter Hopes to Cement Case Amid School Board Turnover

An out-of-state charter operator at odds with the Metro school board is hoping it can soon win approval to expand into Nashville. Tonight the board swears in several newly elected members, who might sign off on Great Hearts Academies after a summer of legal maneuvering.

Great Hearts sent a letter to top officials (PDF) affirming it has taken the Metro board’s concerns into account. Critics have worried the charter wouldn’t do enough to help minorities attend the school. In the letter Great Hearts suggests a double standard, because Metro doesn’t run buses to every magnet-school student.

Great Hearts is hoping to finally put to rest a summer of back-and-forth with Metro, in which the local board recently ignored a state order to approve the charter.

“I have confidence the Nashville school board is going to comply with the law.”

State education commissioner Kevin Huffman.

“I think they know they’re not in compliance with the law and I think they will get into compliance with the law.”

Several Metro board members who voted against Great Hearts are being replaced with this month’s election winners, including some seen as friendlier to charters. The new board is expected to take up the Great Hearts matter on September 11th.


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