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VOL. 38 | NO. 13 | Friday, March 28, 2014

For-profit charter schools bill fails in House

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NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal to allow charter schools in Tennessee to be operated by for-profit entities has failed its last committee vote before reaching the House floor.

The House Calendar and Rules Committee on Thursday voted 10-7 against the bill after Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell of Nashville spoke out against the measure.

Harwell argued that the bill sponsored by Democratic Rep. John DeBerry of Memphis could distract from her goal of establishing more public charter schools in the state.

Harwell also cited a letter from Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, a charter school proponent, that expressed opposition to the bill.

Sponsors of the legislation say it's necessary to help charter schools that may need help with management. Currently, Tennessee has 69 charter schools, which are publicly financed but operated independently.