Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s education agenda continues to take shape with the recent appointments of nine members of a Public Charter School Commission.
According to a statement from the governor’s office, the members are:
- Tom Griscom of Hamilton County, East Tennessee Representative
- David Hanson of Davidson County, Middle Tennessee Representative
- Alan Levine of Washington County, East Tennessee Representative
- Terence Patterson of Shelby County, West Tennessee Representative
- Mary Pierce of Davidson County, Middle Tennessee Representative
- Christine Richards of Shelby County, West Tennessee Representative
- Derwin Sisnett of Shelby County, West Tennessee Representative
- Eddie Smith of Knox County, East Tennessee Representative
- Wendy Tucker of Williamson County, Middle Tennessee Representative
“I am pleased to appoint these individuals and appreciate their willingness to serve our state,” said Lee. “The success of our state depends on engaged citizens and we look forward to working together.”
The Tennessee General Assembly created the charter school commission this spring because Lee requested it, Chalkbeat said. The members will gradually assume oversight of charter schools from the Tennessee Board of Education.
The members will oversee charter schools, including appeals, when local boards of education reject charter school applications. The commission, by law, must have three members from each Grand Division of the state. A majority must live in a county where a charter school exists.
The Tennessee Charter School Center Team, an organization that aims to develop and support public charter schools, praised the governor’s move.
“Having a commission focused solely on the consideration of charter applications allows for commission members to become experts in the field. We are excited to see Governor Lee’s nominees to the Commission, and trust that each of these highly accomplished nominees would uphold the duty to review applications with a focus on quality and the potential to provide more public school students in the state of Tennessee an excellent education.”
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.