The Tennessee Department of Education will impose a $3.4 million penalty on the Nashville school system for denying a charter school’s application, a decision that the state says violated the law.
The state’s decision comes after the 81,000-student Metro Nashville school system repeatedly turned away a bid by an Arizona charter school operator to open a school on the city’s west side. District officials argued that the school did not take steps to ensure that it would serve a diverse student enrollment.
State officials said they will withhold “nonclassroom, administrative funding” from the district and give it to other school systems.
Nashville school leaders say there is no evidence they have antipathy toward charter schools. The district said it has approved four charter applications recently, bringing the total number of such independent public schools in the system to 14.
A version of this article appeared in the September 26, 2012 edition of Education Week as Nashville Loses Funds Over Charter Denial