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RURAL CHARTERS COMING SOON? (TN Ed Report)

THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY SEEN ON THE TENNESSEE EDUCATION REPORT… For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport

On Feb. 5, Gov. Bill Lee’s education chief presented the department’s “Best for All” plan to layout the administration’s goals for future of education in Tennessee.

During the 27-slide presentation, commissioner Penny Schwinn briefly described a new initiative to increase the number of charter schools operating in rural school districts.

Schwinn told the audience of mostly legislators and staff that a $24 million line item for “Charter Schools Facilities Funding” in the governor’s budget included a $10 million, one-time grant for high school charter facilities called “Innovative High School Models.”

Schwinn said:

“…and Innovative High School Models. The thing that I want to touch on there is the governor proposed $12 million recurring, $12 million one time for charter school facilities funds.

One of the things that we’re proposing with the one-time funds is $10 million that would go to help build public charter schools with districts — in partnership with districts — to create more opportunities for students in rural communities.

One would suspect that rural districts would be very interested to know the Commissioner’s plans for expanding charter schools into their territory. Perhaps the new school privatization commission will be the vehicle to make this happen?

Slide Showing Funds for Rural Charters

For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport

VIDEO: GOV. LEE’S VOUCHER NIGHTMARE (GOP Caucus Leader Faison: “We Robbed Teachers’ Pay”)

Gov. Bill Lee’s public school-harming vouchers barely passed thru “sketchy” “bribes & threats” after disgraced former speaker Glen Casada held the board open for 35 minutes — until Rep. Jason Zachary finally flipped his vote and pushed through a program that will ONLY effect Nashville & Memphis, whose reps voted AGAINST it. (Zachary’s math was way off, but we digress)

Many reps say they were bribed and threatened, even with military promotions.

The FBI supposedly opened an inquiry.

There’s a $4 Million Slush fund that seems to have been used to bribe rural reps for their votes, but nobody wants to talk about it.

Lawsuits have begun.

Now it seems the Tennessee Department of Education “robbed” a teacher bonus program to fund a no-bid $2.5 MILLION Class Wallet contract to implement the program that far exceeds what the allocation was… without the comptroller even reviewing it “for merit.

A mess. The mess is so bad even TN GOP House Caucus chair Jeremy Faison regrets his vote, and Appropriations Committee Chair Matthew Hill wants answers. He voted for the bill also.

Meanwhile Governor Lee blames everyone but himself, as he always does.

Let’s keep in mind, this is not the only way Lee is coming after public schools. A charter school commission has now been formed to overrule local school boards, even in rural communities.

Watch what he does, not what he says.

VIDEO: “CLEARLY A VIOLATION OF THE STATE CONSTITUTION.” – Stewart & Mitchell To Schwinn

Rep. Mike Stewart & Rep. Bo Mitchell confront Gov. Bill Lee Tennessee Department of Education commish Penny Schwinn about a no-bid $2 MILLION ClassWallet contract that exceeds the total💰allocated for his voucher program, echoing controversy from her past.

Here’s more on Class Wallet: http://www.mommabears.org/blog/whos-in-your-wallet

The extra funding came from a Lamar Alexander-era program intended for teacher bonuses. Yes, taking from teachers to pay for the voucher program.