The Metro school board may have convinced Great Hearts Academies to retreat, but the board could end up losing its the power to authorize charter schools in Nashville.
State lawmakers are already planning to change state law, but many expect it could be a big battle.
In a statement Wednesday, Great Hearts said it hoped the state would take action so it could eventually re-apply to the state to operate schools in Nashville.
"We've been saying for a couple of years that this was a potential and a lot of folks said, 'no, that won't happen.' Yet, here we are," said Matt Throckmorton, with the Tennessee Charter Schools Association.
Charter school supporters say there is a flaw in the current process and that it allows for too much politics. They have been pushing for a change to state law, where the decision to approve a charter school is taken away from local school boards and given to an independent charter school authorizer.
"A statewide authorizer, they are not engaged in the local discussion, the personalities and the neighborhood. So they are going to look at it strictly on the merits of the application. That is what we want," Throckmorton said.
It's an idea that has made people queasy in the past, because of the potential loss of local control. But advocates say the right process would actually still invite local voices.
"This will not be something that we sit and say is acceptable because it's not acceptable," said Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell. "I think we need to come back and either put some teeth in our law or allow for a state authorizing agency."
In Tennessee, about 75 percent of charter school applications are denied, according to Throckmorton.
He said that is a good number and shows stringent requirements. He added he doesn't believe a statewide authorizer would change that percentage much.
Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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