Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Proponents of charter schools laud them as an innovative way to educate those who simply want to learn, but critics say a provision of recently passed Tennessee legislation that opens enrollment to students who aren't in failing schools defeats the purpose of charter institutions.

On the last day of the General Assembly in May, state lawmakers sent Gov. Bill Haslam a bill that removes the cap on charter schools and allows any student in the charter school's jurisdiction to attend. The first-term Republican governor is expected to sign the measure into law on Wednesday.

Democratic Rep. Mike Stewart of Nashville says he opposes opening up enrollment because he believes it will hurt the traditional intention of helping students from failing schools and those on free and reduced lunch.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.