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TCSC STATEMENT: SCS Board Vote on Charter School Application Appeals 9/17

MEMPHIS, Tenn -- The following statement is issued by the Tennessee Charter School Center, in response to the Shelby County School Board vote which denied charter applications based on location. 

" There are several factors that are taken into consideration when a board is reviewing a charter school application. Any shortcoming on major areas like academic planning,  professional development plans, and low test scores are all valid reasons to deny applications. The new policy in Shelby County attempts to add a limitation for number of available seats in a particular area, regardless of the potential quality of the school option.When it comes to the opening of new charter schools, TCSC is focused on quality, not quantity. Therefore, when considering whether a particular neighborhood is “oversaturated,” we believe that decisions on charter applications should be made based on the possibility of access to high quality schools, as opposed to quantity of open seats in other schools. The purpose of a new charter school is to provide access to more educational opportunity where high quality opportunities are needed.

State law allows for schools that believe their applications present an opportunity for access to high quality education to appeal initial denials. We trust that the State Board of Education will be focused on access to opportunity as they consider the appeals of the denied schools. "