Undoubtedly, Governor Bill Lee must have been surprised when the charter school commission he created two new charter schools in Memphis.

The executive director of the Tennessee Public Charter School Commission has recommended against approving two proposed charter schools in Memphis, siding with a school board that found the charter applications failed to meet state standards.

Tess Stovall’s recommendations uphold the Memphis-Shelby County School board’s unanimous decision in April and again in July to reject the applications for the proposed Binghampton Community School and Tennessee Volunteer Military Academy. Leaders of both schools had appealed the decisions to the state.

The final decision on the applications will be up to a vote of the nine-member state commission. The commission’s members were all appointed by Gov. Bill Lee, who lobbied to create the panel in an effort to open more high-quality charter schools. The board will vote at its quarterly meeting on Tuesday.

Unless the commission members vote to reject Stovall’s recommendation, the two schools will not open in August 2023 as planned.