17 New Charter Schools Can Open Thanks To State Decision

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(Memphis) The Tennessee State Treasurer has overturned a decision by the Unified School Board consisting of Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools.

The decision means 17 charter schools will be allowed to open in the fall.

The board denied the requests initially saying the financial burden of the new charter schools would be a “burden” on the districts.

Money that normally would go to the two districts would instead be diverted to each charter school.

MCS estimates 1,705 students in the 2012-2013 school year will transfer to a new charter school.

SCS estimates 400 students will transfer to the new schools.

Seven of the charter schools have received attention as they will be run by former MCS Superintendent and Memphis Mayor, Willie Herenton.

Also, at least one school, the Arrow Academy of Excellence, will be run by Joseph Lee. Lee once headed MLGW and has been a close ally of Dr. Herenton for many years.

In his report, State Treasurer David Lillard pointed out the numerous errors made by the unified board and that his office had to often repeat requests to get correct information.

Read The Entire Determination Letter

Lillard's decision stated, “…the Unified Board did not reasonably demonstrate that establishment of the additional charter schools will have a substantial negative fiscal impact on Memphis City/Shelby County School District such that the authorization of the charter schools would be contrary to the best interests of the pupils, school district, or community.”

The Unified Board does have the option of appealing Lillard's decision within five days.

Read The Entire Determination Letter

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