Parents rally in support of charter schools - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Parents rally in support of charter schools

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Parents rallied outside the metro schools administration building Thursday, claiming members of the school board have been hostile to the growing number of charter schools.

The crowd gathered by the Tennessee Charter School Center is demanding more charter schools in Nashville.

"The fact they say they're losing money, they're not talking about education," said grandparent Isabel Whitney. "They're talking about money."

Among the group's concerns is a legal opinion released by a metro attorney this month, claiming the state's law that allows charter schools to operate could be unconstitutional. The opinion goes on to say charter schools put an increased cost on local government with no subsidy from the state.

"They're outwardly being hostile to some of the highest performing schools," said Rebecca Lieberman of the Tennessee Charter School Center. "These are schools that are serving some of the most vulnerable populations better than many of the schools they have themselves and making the argument they don't have the funding."

Metro officials claim any allegation they don't support charter schools is untrue.

"Our board of education just approved five of the six charter school applications we got this year," said Meredith Libbey of metro schools. "This is way higher than the national rate of approval for charter school applications. The only one that wasn't approved didn't even bother to appeal their application. When Jesse Register came here in 2009, we had just four charter schools. For the 2014/15 school year, we'll have 23."

Metro school officials add their annual School Choice Festival will be held September 23rd. They said every charter and district-run school will be invited to attend.

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