October 19, 2022
NASHVILLE — Tennesseans for Student Success (TSS) released the following statement in response to this week’s decision in support of Nashville families by the Tennessee Public Charter School Commission.
The commission granted the Tennessee Nature Academy’s appeal to open an innovative nature-based public charter school in southeast Davidson County. This 5 to 3 vote remedies a decision by the Metro Nashville Public Schools Board of Education to deny the academy’s application last July, despite robust support from families.
“This week’s decision closes out a successful charter appeal process that not only stood up for more high-quality options for students, but also reinforced the mission of the Tennessee Public Charter School Commission. School board members in Nashville with ideological and philosophical objections to charter schools ignored the pleas from southeast Nashville families who wanted the another choice for their children to receive a high-quality public school education,” said Adam Lister, President and CEO of Tennesseans for Student Success. “All children deserve to attend the public school that’s best for them and the Tennessee Nature Academy will provide its future middle and high school students with a truly innovative nature-based education model that’s not available anywhere in Middle Tennessee.”
With this decision, commissioners utilized a newly enacted law that provides the flexibility to delay an approved school’s opening date. This takes into consideration Executive Director Tess Stovall’s hesitations and ensures commissioners will continue to play a guiding role in the Tennessee Nature Academy’s launch next year or the year after.
Earlier this month the charter commission upheld two charter appeals from KIPP Nashville. Those decisions open the door for KIPP to fully expand its high-quality education model to Antioch and Cane Ridge.
Tennesseans for Student Success is a statewide network of parents and caregivers, teachers, community leaders, volunteers, and advocates dedicated to championing and supporting Tennessee’s students and their futures.