The ongoing dispute that has cost Metro Nashville Public Schools millions of dollars is not over yet.
The chairwoman of the Metro school board and the state education commissioner will meet Friday regarding Great Hearts Academies, which wanted to open five charter schools in Metro, starting with a west Nashville location. However, its application was denied repeatedly by the school board even after the state had mandated they approve.
As punishment for its actions, the state announced Tuesday it would withhold about $3.4 million of "non-classroom, administrative funding" from the district. But Gov. Bill Haslam indicated Thursday there is a way for Metro to still get its money from the state.
Board Chair Cheryl Mayes and Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman are set to meet at Mayes' request.
In the letter to Huffman, Mayes indicates the school board still has serious concerns about Great Hearts' diversity plans and asks the two meet to work together on a solution.
Haslam said state leaders were thrilled Metro wants to meet. He said the state does not want to take away the money, but that is all up to the school board.
"We don't want to withhold the money. We do need to see that the law is complied with in this and other cases, and like I said the ball is kind of back in Metro's court," Haslam said.
It is still unclear that if Metro now decides to approve Great Hearts, whether the Arizona-based charter school company would decide to return to Nashville after ending its bid earlier this month.
When Great Hearts pulled out, it cited a hostile school board would make it impossible for them to successfully open in Nashville.
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