Tennessee is among seven states that recently lifted restrictions on charter schools, expanding eligibility to low-income families and increasing the maximum number of charter schools in the Memphis City Schools district from 20 to 35. (Eligibility had been restricted under the 2002 charter-schools law to students from other charter schools, or students who were either low-performers themselves or went to low-performing schools.)
Parents in Memphis already are taking advantage, according to the WSJ story:
Power Center Academy, where Ms. Byrd's son is now enrolled in sixth grade, is a new middle school in a predominantly African-American neighborhood in Memphis. Students don uniforms, each gets a laptop, and they learn business concepts along with their other classes.
The school had a waiting list of 30 families who wanted to get in but couldn't because of the existing law. After the law changed a few weeks before the first day of school, Power Center leader Yetta Lewis made a "mad race for the phone" and called those applicants whom she had previously turned away. "I've had parents shout and scream" with joy, she says.
I was puzzled to find that the front page of Power Center's Web site has not been updated to include the new, looser eligibility rules.