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Charter school authorizer bill advances

11:01 AM, Mar 13, 2013   |    comments
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A measure that would create a special panel to authorize charter school applications is advancing in the House.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Mark White of Memphis was approved on a voice vote in the House Government Operations Committee on Wednesday. The companion bill was to be heard in the Senate Education Committee later that day.

Currently local school boards decide whether to authorize a charter application. There are 48 charter schools in Tennessee.

Under the new legislation, the nine-member panel would be appointed by the governor and speakers of the House and Senate.

Charter applicants would be able to apply to their local school board first, then to the panel if they're turned down. The decision of the panel would be final.

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