Standing Together for Strong Community Schools

Tennesseans invested in local public education.


You Are Making a Difference. Info on Next Steps: Vouchers.

Keep Making A Difference! The voucher bill supported by Governor Haslam (HB0190) will be voted on in the House Education Subcommittee on Tuesday, 2/26 at 3 PM in Legislative Plaza room 30. Please call or write Governor Haslam, Speaker Harwell, and the members of the House Education Subcommittee and voice your opposition to this bill. Their email addresses are as follows:

bill.haslam@tn.gov, speaker.beth.harwell@capitol.tn.gov, Rep.Harry.Brooks@capitol.tn.gov, Rep.John.DeBerry@capitol.tn.gov, Rep.Joe.Pitts@capitol.tn.gov, Rep.Harold.Love@capitol.tn.gov, Rep.John.Forgety@capitol.tn.gov, Rep.Roger.Kane@capitol.tn.gov, Rep.Debra.Moody@capitol.tn.gov, Rep.Dawn.White@capitol.tn.gov, Rep.Mark.White@capitol.tn.gov.

Cut and paste the above addresses into the BCC line of your email account. Make it personal.

You can find their phone numbers at the following link:http://www.capitol.tn.gov/house/committees/education.html. (The Governor’s phone number is 615-741-2001. Speaker Harwell’s is 615-741-0709.) You may also email the entire committee, along with Governor Haslam and Speaker Harwell, by signing This Petition. This is a quick and easy way to have your voice heard if you do not feel you have the time to personally call or email the representatives.

We were originally told that the Charter School Authorizer Bill (HB0702) was “rolled” until the April 2nd Education Committee meeting, but it has shown up on next week’s Education Committee agenda, Tuesday, 2/26 at noon in Legislative Plaza room 16. We have been told that it was a clerical error and that it will actually be voted on in a couple of weeks (or so). ST4SCS will have some representatives at next week’s meeting to monitor the proceedings. Please sign the charter authorizer petition if you have not already. We must not let our guard down.

Thanks again for all of your support. As volunteers with a bi-partisan representation, no backers and no funding, our cumulative voices must be heard by contacting our elected officials directly; grass-roots, standing strong together.

THIS WEEK’S PRESS:

State Charter Authorizer Sponsor ‘Listening’ to Input
WPLN

Nashville Foes Win Delay in Charter Authorizer Fight
Tennessean

ST4SCS Speakers: Anne-Marie Farmer and Chelle Baldwin
Click the photo for a video link on Facebook and hear what they had to say.

Speaking to House Education Committee.

Speaking to House Education Committee.


We Need Your Support Tuesday at Noon

A press conference was held at 3 PM CST , Monday February 18th on steps of War Memorial Plaza in Nashville. Speakers included Metro Nashville Council and School Board Members, as well as members of the Nashville delegation of the TN General Assembly. They spoke out against the State Charter Authorizer bill that is going to be voted on Tuesday (2/19) during a House Education Committee hearing.

This legislation would take the decision to open a charter school away from locally elected school boards in Nashville and Memphis only. A state level charter authorizer would increase the reach of state government into local affairs and create additional bureaucracy. Decisions about opening new schools should be left to local officials, elected by local citizens, who understand the needs of our unique communities. The reach of any state level charter authorizer would also surely expand into more and more counties once this door is opened.

We need your support Tuesday (2/19).

If you can join us we will be gathering in room Room 16 of Legislative Plaza in Nashville at noon. We will have ST4SCS representatives speaking. Use the entrance across from TPAC auditorium under War Memorial Plaza.

If you cannot attend tomorrow (Tuesday 2/19), please contact your elected officials and let them know you are against Charter School Authorizer Bill (HB0702) and keep calling Beth Harwell at 615-741-0709.

To sign a petition that auto emails the House education committee to express your view against the Charter School Authorizer Bill (HB0702) click Stop the State Charter Authorizer.

We want to support Representative John Forgety’s bill  (HB0446) to amend the current role of the State Board of Education. It is a good bill.

Need to better understand why you should be against this bad legislation? Here is some helpful reading.

Legislature’s Charter Authorizer Steamroller Revving Its Engine by Schooling Memphis

State charter authorizer bill singles out Nashville, Memphis by the Tennessean

State School Charter Authorizer Bill Filed by TN Ed Report/John Haubenreich

Remember Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst gave $165,000 to the TN General Assembly’s education committees in campaign cash last election cycle. These same beneficiaries are backing the Charter Authorizer bill and vouchers.

This bill is all about Great Hearts. Another “punishment” from the State of TN for Nashville and Memphis.  Here is The Nashville Scene’s Q & A with House Speaker Beth Harwell about her charter school bill. Did you know that MNPS approves on average 36% of all charter applications? Which is higher than the national average. So we are now changing state laws because of one school in Nashville?

Thank you everyone for bringing the real voice of public school families to the State of TN General Assembly.


Urgent Call to Action! Call Beth Harwell.

URGENT CALL TO ACTION! The state charter authorizer bill (HB0702) is scheduled to be voted on during the full House Education Committee at 12 PM on Tuesday, February 19th which is TOMORROW!!!!. The best chance we have of defeating this measure is stopping it in committee, so we need your help:

1) This is Rep. Beth Harwell’s bill–she just asked Rep. White to sponsor it. Today is a Holiday so the Legislators will not be in their offices but you can call Tuesday morning before the House Education Committee meeting to tell her that you are against a state charter authorizer. (Her phone number is 615-741-0709.) If you happen to be one of her constituents, be sure to to let whomever you speak to know. (You can also email her at speaker.beth.harwell@capitol.tn.gov, but phone calls will likely have more of an impact right now. Let’s keep her phone ringing off the hook!)

2) Attend the committee hearing on Tuesday, 2/19 at noon. It will be in House Hearing Room 16 at Legislative Plaza in Nashville. We will be passing out stickers so you can be visually identified as opponents of the charter authorizer law. Let’s pack out the room! (By the way, thanks to all of your emails and phone calls, we are on the agenda to speak before the full committee during this meeting!)

3) Call and/or email the members of the full House Education Committee and tell them you are against the bill. There emails are as follows: Rep.Harry.Brooks@capitol.tn.gov, Rep.John.DeBerry@capitol.tn.gov, Rep.Joe.Pitts@capitol.tn.gov, Rep.Harold.Love@capitol.tn.gov, Rep.John.Forgety@capitol.tn.gov, Rep.Roger.Kane@capitol.tn.gov, Rep.Debra.Moody@capitol.tn.gov, Rep.Dawn.White@capitol.tn.gov, Rep.Mark.White@capitol.tn.gov, rep.kevin.brooks@capitol.tn.gov, rep.jim.coley@capitol.tn.gov, rep.lois.deberry@capitol.tn.gov, rep.bill.dunn@capitol.tn.gov, rep.ron.lollar@capitol.tn.gov, rep.ryan.williams@capitol.tn.gov. You can find their phone numbers at the following link: http://www.capitol.tn.gov/house/committees/education.html

They are hearing us–so keep speaking up! Thanks to each of you for your support. Upward. Onward. Together!


We are Being Silenced by Our TN State Government

PLEASE CALL TODAY: The Education Committee continues to refuse an opportunity for us to speak. ST4SCS has representatives arriving on capital hill as this is being posted. Please call Representative Brook’s office and Rep. White’s ASAP and tell them you do not want a Charter Authorizer Bill HB702/SB830 and Standing Together for Strong Community Schools needs an opportunity to speak. They are ignoring us.

Rep. Mark White from Memphis is the bill sponsor.
(615) 741-4415
mark.white@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Brooks
(615) 741-6879.

Also we have a source that says Nashville’s own Mayor Karl Dean is behind the Authorizer bill. Call or email his office and let him know how you feel.

mayor@nashville.gov

615-862-6000

Here is the HB702/SB830 Amendment they are trying to push through with no discussion. Please read.

Amend HB702


1 Comment

Power grab on the Hill! CALL TO ACTION!!

Today we are seeing an outrageous power grab play out in the Tennessee legislature.  Legislation creating a process to circumvent the local school boards of Davidson and Shelby counties that allows charter school applicants to go directly to the state for charter approval was filed yesterday (Feb. 11) and is on the agenda for the House education subcommittee today.  This last minute addition of language creating a direct state level path to charter authorization is an obvious attempt to rush this legislation through the committee before the public has any opportunity to review or speak out about this bill.  Tennessee parents and taxpayers are being shut out of decisions affecting our schools and our children.  Tennesseans know that once this can of worms is opened and public input is silenced, by limiting the authority of locally elected officials in Nashville and Memphis, those advocating this power grab will push to expand it until more and more Tennessee counties find local control of the decision to open schools has vanished.  No county will be immune.

If you can, please attend the House Education Subcommittee meeting today at 3 pm in Legislative Plaza room 30.  It would be helpful to have folks there to show that we do NOT want such a huge policy decision pushed through without public input.  Also, whether you can attend today or not, please email all the members of House education subcommittee and telling them you do NOT want to see locally elected officials sidelined in favor of charter school decisions made by unelected, unaccountable persons outside your community.  Here are their email addresses, for an easy cut and paste:

Rep.Harry.Brooks@capitol.tn.gov,

Rep.John.DeBerry@capitol.tn.gov,

Rep.Joe.Pitts@capitol.tn.gov,

Rep.Harold.Love@capitol.tn.gov,

Rep.John.Forgety@capitol.tn.gov,

Rep.Roger.Kane@capitol.tn.gov,

Rep.Debra.Moody@capitol.tn.gov,

Rep.Dawn.White@capitol.tn.gov,

Rep.Mark.White@capitol.tn.gov


Latest News On Charters and Vouchers

Latest news on vouchers and charter school info for the last week in January 2013.

A Conservative Remedy To The Great Hearts Mess
From: TN EDU Report

Amending TCA Section 49-13-108
Allowing chancery court a final decision of the state board of education on the charter school’s application.

Scott McNutt’s Snark Bites: Haslam to introduce public-money-to-private-entities transfer program
From: KnoxNews.com

School Vouchers: The Myth and the Reality
From: Raise Your Hand Texas

Link to the Tennessee General Assembly Bill HB 0190 “Opportunity Scholarships”

Cornerstone Situation Continues to Devolve
From: Schooling Memphis

Charter Schools That Start Bad Stay Bad, Stanford Report Says
From: Huffington Post

Legislation to cut public assistance for children’s families who do not do well in school.
From: Huffington Post

 “What if one child in a family is doing well and another is not?”
From: Newscoma 

Harrisburg schools saddled with debt and growing exodus to charter schools
From: Central PA Patriot News

Teachers’ Union Questions Haslam’s Commitment to Public Education
From: Pith in the Wind

CREDO Report: Charter School Growth And Replication’ Study

Voucher plan could cut $270K from city schools
From: The Tulahoma News

Tennessee voucher debate: the chance, and price, of ‘school choice’
From: WRCB 3 Chattanooga