- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
State Rep. Scott Cepicky plans to once again push legislation to give the education commissioner broad powers to take over a struggling school district, the Republican lawmaker tells Axios.
It's a proposal that has especially rung alarm bells in Nashville.
Why it matters: Cepicky's bill cleared one House subcommittee earlier this year, but he declined to push it before the legislative session ended. Cepicky says he is determined to pass the bill next year.
"We want the locals to fix things themselves," Cepicky said. "But there reaches a point where we have an obligation to those students."
Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.
State of play: Cepicky's bill would give the education commissioner power to assume leadership of a district for up to five years before it would revert back to local control, including the ability to hire a superintendent and appoint trustees to act as school board members.
He says the takeover provision would be triggered by "historical data" such as comptroller audits and student achievement data.
Cepicky says his bill is not just aimed at Nashville or Shelby County, and that there are other districts that need to show improvement quickly.
The other side: Nashville school board member Rachael Anne Elrod bashed Cepicky's legislation for undermining local control and relying on standardized test scores to trigger the takeover.
Pointing to the Achievement School District — a state program to convert the lowest-performing schools into charter schools in hopes of dramatic turnarounds — Elrod says the state has a bad track record in fixing schools.
"They have shown that they do not understand the complexities of urban, metropolitan schools," she adds.
Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.