HomeSchoolsState commission to listen to arguments for, against on ACE charter school

State commission to listen to arguments for, against on ACE charter school

American Classical Education has appealed twice now for a charter school application in Jackson and Madison County, which means the second appeal will be heard by the Tennessee Public Charter School Commission.

That meeting is happening Monday at the Jackson-Madison County Schools Central Office Board Room (310 North Parkway).

According to the agenda for the meeting found on the Commission’s website, JMCSS will give an opening statement followed by a statement from ACE.

The Commission’s executive director, Tess Stovall, will then ask questions for ACE to answer regarding its plans and for JMCSS regarding its school board objections.

After that will be the time for public comment. Those who wish to comment have to sign up at the website beforehand, and there’s a set number of commenters for and against the school. According to the site, those in favor of the school have already reached their limit.

Once public comments are done, both JMCSS and ACE will each have 10 more minutes to make closing statements.

After the meeting, the Commission will convene to officially vote to approve or not at a later date.

The meeting is happening because ACE applied for a charter school in the spring, and the school board rejected it in April. They had 30 days to file a second application, and they did. That one was rejected in July.

The second appeal automatically goes to the state.

In both applications, the school board’s charter review committee lined out numerous reasons in the application to be rejected as many key questions weren’t answered.

A lot of the same questions or errors in the first application were repeated in the second one as well.

If the Commission were to approve the application, the move would give ACE the go-ahead to begin work of putting a charter school in Jackson or Madison County with public funds.

Local proponents of ACE have said in public meetings that ACE’s academic methods  and curriculum are a quality alternative to the way JMCSS educates its students.

Opponents of the school question its ability to educate children and criticize the notion of removing federal and state funding for JMCSS from the district for the school.

If the Commission were to approve it, the application is for ACE to begin work to establish a school in the 2024-25 school year.

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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