TN Attorney General: SCS must turn over student data to charter schools

SHELBY COUNTY, TN (WMC) - Tennessee's Attorney General and the state's commissioner of the Department of Education are ordering Shelby County Schools to turn over student data to charter schools.

SCS and Metro Nashville Public Schools have been holding off on releasing the data over legal concerns.

Attorney General Herbert Slattery released his opinion to the state's Education Commissioner Candace McQueen on Wednesday.

McQueen requested it after SCS and Metro Nashville Public Schools refused to give student data to charter school operators, alleging it wasn't legal under federal law.

McQueen also sent a letter to SCS Superintendent Dorsey Hopson, also dated Wednesday, ordering the district to hand over the data by Monday, Sept. 25.

"We have been patient and proactive in our collaboration with you," the letter reads. " We would appreciate your timely response."

Back in August, charter school operator Green Dot expressed their frustration that SCS was withholding student information that could be used for charter school recruitment purposes.

"We just want to make sure that families understand that we're here to partner with communities and build great neighborhood options," said Megan Quaile, Executive Director of Green Dot Public Schools Tennessee last month.

A new state law in effect in July said a local education agency like SCS must provide students' contact information to a chartering authority or public charter school within 30 days of the request.

McQueen sent a separate letter back in August ordering SCS to comply immediately.

In the letter this week with the AG's opinion, McQueen said failure to act by SCS will leave the department "forced to consider actions to enforce the law."

We have reached out to SCS for comment.

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