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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