Opinion: Will Gov. Bill Lee’s unelected charter panel overturn school board votes?

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee speaks in Nashville, Tenn., in 2021.(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

Throughout September, the Tennessee Charter School Commission's 13-member staff of the state's unelected, nine-member charter school commission will be determining whether decisions by elected school boards to deny charter school petitions "were contrary to the best interests" of students, local education agencies and communities.

Then, come October, that commission -- handpicked and appointed by charter school advocate Gov. Bill Lee -- will vote yea or nay to overturn the decisions of the duly elected school board members who Tennesseans, county by county, voted into office.

This will happen in at least 13 new charter-start appeals. At least three involve proposals affiliated with Hillsdale College -- three among the 50 Lee said in January that he and Hillsdale president Larry Arnn agreed to bring to the Volunteer State.

Arnn is the guy who -- on stage in Lee's presence in Franklin, Tennessee -- said teachers "come from the dumbest parts of the dumbest colleges in the country."