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VOL. 38 | NO. 11 | Friday, March 14, 2014

Senate approves bill stripping local control of charter schools

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NASHVILLE (AP) - The state Senate has approved legislation that changes the way certain charter schools are authorized.

The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Dolores Gresham of Somerville was approved 20-12 on Thursday. The House version was approved 62-30 last year. It must now approve technical changes made by the Senate before heading to the governor for his consideration.

Under the legislation, the State Board of Education would become an authorizer and be able to overrule local school board decisions on charter applications in five counties where there are failing schools.

Those counties include the state's four largest cities: Davidson, Hamilton, Knox and Shelby. Hardeman County also would be affected.

Currently, local school boards decide whether to authorize a charter application, and opponents of the legislation say it should stay that way.

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