School board holds closed legal briefing on Great Hearts

Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 2:33pm

The new Metro school board held its first meeting Tuesday, but members quickly broke into a closed executive session for a legal briefing on the district’s issue of the day: Great Hearts Academies.

Lacking a school board chair following elections in August, Metro Department of Law Director Saul Solomon presided over a hastily scheduled meeting Tuesday afternoon on Great Hearts, the charter school proposal that the Metro board deferred voting on last month even though the state ordered its approval.

The proposal for the West Nashville charter school goes before the school board again on Sept. 11. The board voted 5-0, with two abstentions, Tuesday to hold the closed executive session to receive legal counsel in advance of next week’s deliberation.

Metro boards and commissions breaking into executive session to receive legal advice is commonplace and authorized by state law.

Solomon told school board members — four of whom were attending their first-ever meeting — that state law allows meetings “not in the public eye” if they involve “pending or the threat of litigation.”

In rejecting Great Hearts last month, the school board defied a state order. In doing so, Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman has said the local board broke state law.

“We feel very clearly that there has been litigation threat in this instance, either by the state or by Great Hearts,” Solomon said. “We feel fairly confident that we have met that test.”

Board member Anna Shepherd agreed, “It’s been stated that this is a matter that we’ve been threatened with a lawsuit.”

Solomon referenced a City Paper reporter who would have to leave if the board opted for an executive session.

New board members Elissa Kim and Will Pinkston abstained from voting on organizing an executive session.

After the vote passed, the school board left the public boardroom for an adjacent workroom.

“There’s a lot of rules for these kind of meetings — what we call executive sessions,” Solomon said. “Generally speaking, you cannot deliberate or talk among each other or between each other during executive session.”

2 Comments on this post:

By: CitizensWin on 9/9/12 at 1:16

This Repost Reveals Much
About What Donations Nashville Parents
Will be expected to contribute to a GH Charter

If Great Hearts cannot take care of business in Arizona, why would anyone in Tennessee think that it could take care of business here.
"Daniel Scoggin, CEO for Phoenix-based Great Hearts, said there isn't enough money to help low-income students, who tend to struggle in school." "It's dire. We really need more money to make this thing (school) sustainable," Scoggin said.
...there isn't enough money to help low-income students, who tend to struggle in school.
D Scoggin

Now is that because 'Great Hearts' pay school teachers too much?
Very Doubtful @ Salaries betweeen 34,000-34,000

Now, wouldn't it be great if an investigative reporter called Dan Scoggin and asked what he made in salary last year before MNPS folds and forwards 24 million to Arizona that kight can be used to prop up other schools in other states?

TNJ Please Contact:
Daniel Scoggin
Great Hearts Academies

And throw down the 5 bucks a month for his history

By: pswindle on 9/10/12 at 9:50

Good Grief, What will Great Hearts do next? I wish that the School Board would kick GH out of Nashville, and the Governor needs to stay out of it.