Nashville School Board Members Say No to More Charter Schools

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Members of the Metro Nashville School Board this week shot down the idea of having five more charter schools.

Members offered a variety of reasons.

Board members said, among other things, that charter school staff didn’t meet the county school district’s curriculum standards. Board members also said that charter schools relied on too many volunteers and turned in too many generic applications.

This, according to this week’s school board meeting, available on YouTube.

The following charter schools applied, according to the board meeting’s agenda sheet:

• Nashville Collegiate Prep

• Ivy Prep Academy

• KIPP Southeast Nashville College Prep Elementary School

• KIPP Southeast Nashville College Prep Middle School

• KIPP Antioch College Prep High School

Board members also said they had limited funds because of the recent tornadoes and the COVID-19 pandemic, and they had to show fiscal restraint.

According to Nashville Public Radio, these officials opted not to add more than 3,000 new charter seats.

“We have a limited pool of funds. We’re now looking at cutting that pool quite a bit … our budgetary future is uncertain,” said Amy Frogge, school board member for Bellevue and West Nashville.

As the station went on to report, Nashville Mayor John Cooper had asked the district to cut $100 million from its budget. The district has cut its private custodial contract by 9 percent — saving $2 million through the end of the year — but it’s unclear when larger cuts will be made.

“We have a pretty clear choice to make. We have to prioritize where those funds go. We can choose to open charter seats or we can choose to pay our teachers and our staff members,” Frogge said.

Nashville Public Radio described Frogge as “a longtime time critic of charter schools, stating that they take away learning opportunities for students in traditional schools.”

Maya Bugg, CEO of the Tennessee Charter School Center, told the station that charter schools increase the quality of education in the school district.

Watch the meeting:

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]






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4 Thoughts to “Nashville School Board Members Say No to More Charter Schools”

  1. William Delzell

    Charter school, especially the so-called “Christian” academies, are a rip-off of the tax payers. Money meant for public schools should be spent only for those types of schools as charter schools do not have to meet the same accreditation requirements that public schools must. Charter schools do not have to keep students even after parents have paid tuition with the help of voucher money. To use tax money to promote a particular religious denomination violates the Constitution’s Separation of Church and State or Dis-establishment Clause.

  2. Kevin

    The Nashville School Board doesn’t want any more Charter schools, nor do they want the “school choice” enabling ESA program. But it seems like they all support “homey” schooling.

    You know the kind of education where most of the kids can’t read, write or speak intelligently ultimately turning into under educated, low skill set, under employed adults.

    The School Board and many of the politicians words say one thing, but their actions say another. I can already hear them saying, “if only we had more money…” But they’re keeping the plantation alive and well! Very sad!

  3. Russ Crouch

    If you are not for charter or private schools, this is a perfect storm to give whatever reasons not to have more. Question are the test results better or worse for charter schools. This should be the only reason needed.

    1. Horatio Bunce

      No it shouldn’t, not for the voucher kids. They are already behind and suffering in perennially failing bottom 5% academically schools when they are allowed to enter the lottery to escape to the charter. The Andy Berkes of the world want them tested that first year to claim the charter is a failure because the student isn’t “on grade level”. However, the hypocritical public system has the data and knows how far behind the student was when they escaped, but will never reveal that. In other words, the student could be 1.5 grades “behind” after a year at the charter, but they may have come in 2 years behind. After all they are only allowed to escape from the bottom 5%. The charters are an absolute win for taxpayers, even if there is no academic improvement simply because they cost 40% less.