RESOLUTION NO. RS2013-842

A resolution calling for a moratorium on the approval of new charter schools until the Metropolitan Nashville Public School system's revenue projections improve substantially or until the school system is able to make significant structural changes in its budget.

Whereas, the Metro Council is the appropriating authority of funding for Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS); and

Whereas, the Metro Council and the residents of Nashville-Davidson County desire a world-class public education system for MNPS's 82,000 students; and

Whereas, MNPS is demonstrating academic improvement with year-over-year gains in student achievement and student growth in multiple grades and subjects; and

Whereas, MNPS has a track record of supporting school choice for students and families desiring educational alternatives such as charter schools, and the Metro Council has appropriated funding for such schools; and

Whereas, overall growth in MNPS's student enrollment presents unique opportunities and challenges, both academically and fiscally; and

Whereas, projected growth in Metro government revenues compared with preliminary budget projections for MNPS's 2014-15 operating year indicate a potential structural imbalance in the school system's budget; and

Whereas, more than half of MNPS's projected increase in expenditures in the 2014-15 operating year involves an estimated $21 million in cash outlays to cover the cost of newly approved charter schools and growth in existing charter schools; and

Whereas, the estimated cost of cash outlays for charter school growth likely will outstrip total available new revenues for MNPS during the 2014-15 operating year, leaving no additional resources for other needs such as teacher salary adjustments and also potentially requiring deep cuts in other areas of the school system's budget; and

Whereas, research demonstrates that charter schools have a negative fiscal impact on school systems, especially in the short term due to the complications of reducing fixed costs in existing schools; and

Whereas, MNPS has been advised that the Tennessee Public Charter Schools Act of 2002 may violate the Tennessee Constitution due to inadequacies in the State of Tennessee's Basic Education Program (BEP) funding formula.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY:

Section 1. The Metropolitan Council hereby goes on record as requesting, and urging MNPS to request, that Governor Bill Haslam and Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman grant MNPS a moratorium on the approval of new charter schools until the Metropolitan Government’s and the school system's revenue projections improve substantially or until the school system is able to make significant structural changes in its budget.

Section 2. Should the Governor and the Commissioner decline to grant a moratorium on charter schools, then the Metropolitan Council requests, and urges MNPS to request, the State to make adjustments in the BEP funding formula to compensate for the negative fiscal impact that charter schools have on school systems.

Section 3. Should the Governor and the Commissioner decline to make adjustments in the BEP to compensate for the negative fiscal impact that charter schools have on school systems, then the Metro Council urges MNPS to work with other school districts that are part of Tennessee's Coalition of Large School Systems to explore necessary legislative or legal remedies.

Section 4. This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: Steve Glover, Phil Claiborne

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

Referred to: Education Committee
Introduced: September 10, 2013
Deferred Indefinitely: September 10, 2013
Adopted:
Approved:  
By:  

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