Parents, lawmakers push charter school legislation - WKRN News 2

Parents, lawmakers push charter school legislation

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

Parents and lawmakers gathered Tuesday morning at the capital to discuss adding more charter schools in Davidson County.

Gene Smalley said that he wants other children to have the same opportunities as his child.

"He loves learning now. The charter school gave him the keys to a good education and he has a zest and zeal for learning," he explained.

Supporters want to see proposed legislation become law that would create a state charter school panel.

"My last two kids done learn how to read and are doing better in charter schools than Metro schools," said parent Charles Midgett.

They have powerful backing, including Speaker Beth Harwell.

"This Tennessee General Assembly needs to hear from you because they hear from the other side that want to just maintain the status quo," she told the group.

Charter schools are controversial because they are operated privately, but receive taxpayer money.

The proposed bill would create a state panel to approve charter school applications on appeal, overriding local school boards.

Many elected officials from Davidson County, including Metro school board members who gathered at the capitol in February, strongly oppose the bill.

They argue that it would create an accountability problem, among other issues.

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