State Legislators Promise to Do “All They Can to Keep TNVA Open”
Nashville, Tenn., February 10, 2015 – Under threat of closure, more than four hundred parents, students and educators descended on the state Capitol to express their support for protecting the right of parents to choose the school that works best for their children, including the Tennessee Virtual Academy, a full-time online public school offered through Union County Public Schools.
Wearing bright red scarves and t-shirts, supporters made their presence felt at the Capitol meeting with legislators and
staff to demand that their public school not be shut down. Despite support from parents and students that are benefiting from the Tennessee Virtual Academy’s flexibility and personalized programs, the school is under threat of closure unless the Tennessee Virtual Schools Act is renewed this legislative session and meets demands from the Tenn. Department of Education that no other public school is facing.
TNVA parent and PublicSchoolOptions.org parent leader Cathy Berg stated, “TNVA has been unfairly singled out for closure unless it gets a Level 3 this year – an ultimatum that no other public school faces – even though there are more than 100 other public schools across the state with similar or worse growth scores as TNVA.”
Berg continued, “TNVA is working great for our children. Singling out TNVA for closure is totally unfair and unacceptable.”
Holly Wooten, a TNVA parent and PublicSchoolOptions.org parent leader stated, “We are here because we believe that parents know best when it comes to our children’s education. Like many other parents here – I am deeply concerned that this important public school option will go away unless the Legislature acts quickly to save it.”
A number of legislators met with the entire delegation of supporters including Senate Education Chair Delores Gresham (R-Somerville), Senator Frank Nicely (R-Strawberry Plains), Rep. Dennis Powers (R-Jacksboro), and Rep. Harry Brooks (R-Knoxville).
Senate Education Committee Chair Delores Gresham stated, “”Parents are a child’s first teacher…and know that every child is different!”
House Education Administration and Planning Committee Chairman Harry Brooks stated, “Not every child fits in the same box…for some the best option is a virtual education. I’m strongly recommending that we expand virtual education.”
Senator Frank Niceley said, “It’s important that we keep the Tennessee Virtual Academy open because not every child fits in a traditional public school. I believe in TNVA because I have constituents enrolled in the school who are happy with the school… It’s important to me that we keep TNVA open.”
Representative Dennis Powers continued by telling the crowd: “We are going to do everything we can to keep the Tennessee Virtual Academy going, and I am going to work in the Legislature to keep it open next year.”
Supporters left Capitol Day energized after hearing from these legislators, and others they met with one-on-one, in knowing their elected representatives are ready to fight for school choice and to save their public school.
For more information on the Tennessee Chapter of PublicSchoolOptions.org please visit: http://www.publicschooloptions.org/tennessee/
PublicSchoolOptions.org is an alliance of parents that supports and defends parents’ rights to access the best public school options for their children. The Coalition supports the creation of public school options, including charter schools, online schools, magnet schools, open enrollment policies and other innovative education programs. Additionally, we advocate for free and equal access without restrictions to these public schools for all children. PublicSchoolOptions.org is a non-profit 501(c)4 and is not affiliated with any school or other organization.