Attorneys for Smithson Craighead Middle School were scheduled to appear in federal court Wednesday to present their argument for why the school shouldn’t close at the end of this week.
SCMS won’t get that day in court. Instead a judge’s order issued Wednesday morning moves the school closer to shutting down Friday.
The charter school sued the Metro Nashville Board of Education in April, after the school board decided to revoke its charter. A court hearing was cancelled Wednesday morning after U.S. District Court Judge Kevin Sharp issued a 19-page memorandum dismissing all of SCMS’s claims.
SCMS had attempted to argue that the school board violated its right to due process and equal protection when the board voted in November to close SCMS. The state identified SCMS as being a low-performing school, with test scores in the bottom 5 percent of schools in the state.
But Sharp dismissed the complaint, ruling that the parents — two of which are plaintiffs in the case — don’t have a substantive right to enroll their children in a charter school. Sharp also ruled that there are other viable educational options, including zoned MNPS schools.
“The Complaint’s vague allegations about safety, overcrowding, learning, and nurture at unspecified MNPS zoned schools cannot establish a claim of significant educational inferiority,” the memorandum reads.
Metro attorney Keli Oliver said, “We believed the judge reached the right decision and issued a well-reasoned opinion. We’re looking forward to moving on and supporting charter schools going forward, especially ones that can meet the needs of our students.”
Attorneys for SCMS couldn’t be immediately reached on Wednesday morning.