It’s finally here, legislative season!
This year should be a solid year for charter schools as we work to ensure operational stability. Last year the big philosophical issues were addressed, primarily Open Enrollment and removing the Caps on the number of charter schools allowed. At this point we are looking to address simple operational issues. Smaller issues that impact the day-to-day operations of our charter schools. We should have our bills drafted and ready for review by the first week of February, stay tuned!
Related to this we need volunteers up at the state capitol. We plan to have four small bills though we will be watching dozens of other bills that potentially impact charter schools. Everything from teacher evaluations, to seemingly random finance and transportation issues. With half a dozen committees to work we need volunteers for every Tuesday and Wednesday at the capitol. If you are interested in helping us work the legislature please send an email to our Program Director Jennifer Gentry: firstname.lastname@example.org. She and I will then reach out and help schedule committees, providing a little training and get rolling!
Finally, if you recall last year legislation was passed that requires charter school boards to go through an annual training session. This session must be certified by us, though we do not have to provide it. We are scheduling several training sessions throughout the year in Memphis, Nashville and Chattanooga though let me stress, you can find your own board training. In fact, I strongly encourage you to do so. In fact, so does the law.
To help make this law a success we are doing a few things. First, we will publish the guidelines for compliance with this law the first week of February. Second, we are creating a page on our website that will host these guidelines and keep a calendar of board training events we will hold and contact information to three excellent board training groups. Finally, we are going to list those charter school boards that have completed training for the 2011/2012 year, and those that have not. We are public schools and as such everything we do is open for public scrutiny. Your training for this year (we are following the budget year of July 1 to June 30) must be completed by June 30. Failure to do so means you are not in compliance with State Law. Send me an email if you have questions or want to schedule a training for your board: email@example.com.
Mark Your Calendars!
We are pleased to announce the First Annual TCSA Gala. It will be held Friday, May 11th. During the Gala, we will present awards to teachers and school leaders in a series of categories. Watch for more information regarding nominations! The Gala will be held in Nashville, and the venue will be announced soon! We can say that it will be held at one of the most historic spots in town! Stay tuned for more information.
Watch our EVENTS page for updated workshops, conferences, etc. We will be holding numerous charter school 101 workshops, and school leader meetings.
As always, if you have any questions regarding any news or events, contact Jennifer Gentry, Jennifer@tncharterschools.org or by calling our office at (615) 891-1090.
It’s Time For You To Get Involved!
Legislative session has officially begun, meaning the time has come for us to fully engage in advocating for sound legislation that promotes high-quality charter school operation in Tennessee. The focus of the advocacy team this session will be to equip parents and charter school supporters with the information, tools, and confidence to advocate to state legislators. We are conducting advocacy workshops, speaking at parent meetings, and sitting down one-on-one with parents and community members who are excited to get involved.
Additionally, we are polishing the online advocacy tools and will soon roll out new interactive pieces of our website so that you can stay up-to-date on charter school bills and quickly contact legislators following our action alerts. Hundreds of supporters are currently signed up for our Advocacy Network, though we aim to involve thousands more. Please encourage friends to join the network by visiting the Get Involvedsection of our website and check the Eventstab for announcements of upcoming workshops and other ways to get involved.
Finally, remember to mark your calendar for Day on the Hill on March 6th. We will be organizing small group meetings between legislators and hundreds of students, parents, and administrators throughout the day. You can register on our website, but stay tuned – more information will be coming out soon!
To contact Lauren Hayes, Advocacy Director for TCSA, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Calling all Technology and IT Departments!
We are building a contact list of all technology departments at each school to create a Tech/IT network. If you are that person (or school leaders, if you would forward that info to me), please send a quick email to Mackey Brownlee, email@example.com with your name and school affiliation.
We have lots of things in the works to interface with all of the technology departments. We will send out more information in the near future.