Nashville Chamber of Commerce Could Push to Restructure the City’s Public Schools

Members of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce said they are displeased with the Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS), so much so the schools might require a dramatic restructuring — at least at the school board level. Axios reported this week that chamber members might prefer to do away with electing school board members. Instead, local government officials could appoint them.

Read the full story

Metro Nashville Schools Special Meeting on COVID-19 Masks Are a Waste of Time, Board Member Says

Metro Nashville Public School (MNPS) Board members will hold a special meeting later this week to discuss COVID-19 mask requirements, but one board member said Tuesday that it’s a waste of time. MNPS Board members have scheduled the meeting for 11 a.m. Thursday at the MNPS Central Administration Building on 2601 Bransford Avenue, said District Six Board Member Fran Bush.

Read the full story

Tennessee Watchdog Nonprofit Wants Investigation into a Nashville Schools’ COVID Contractor

Meharry Medical College

The Beacon Center of Tennessee, a Nashville-based policy institute and fiscal watchdog, has added its voice to those calling for an investigation into Metro Nashville Public Schools’ (MNPS) contract with Meharry Medical College Ventures. 

The contract provided COVID-19 testing and other services, including a COVID website for the school district—one that cost about $1.8 million.

Read the full story

Metro Nashville School Board Member Says School Security Head Lied on Resume

A Metro Nashville School Board member said she wonders if school system officials are doing thorough background checks on school system employees, and she said knows of one instance where they did not. Board member Fran Bush told The Tennessee Star this week that Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) Executive Director of Security Reginald Young lied on his resume. Young said he previously served in Florida as the Gadsden County School District’s chief of police and its Emergency Management Coordinator.

Read the full story

MNPS Security Officers File Numerous Workplace Complaints

Security officers serving the Metro Nashville Public School (MNPS) system have been subject to a toxic work environment, according to the 14 complaints submitted to the human resources and employee relations departments. 

“The morale itself has been low. We had grievance upon grievance just sitting there. Not being answered. Nobody reached out. Nobody followed up,” Security Officer James Franklin Spencer III told WKRN.

Read the full story

After Around 25K Truant and 6K Transferred Students, Metro Nashville Public Schools Announces It Will Resume In-Person Learning

Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) announced Monday that phased in-person learning would begin this week. The news was presented at a press conference on Monday. MNPS Board Chair Christiane Buggs, MNPS Director Dr. Adrienne Battle, Meharry Medical College President and CEO Dr. James Hildreth, Meharry Medical College Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement Patrick Johnson, and Nashville Mayor John Cooper were present.

According to the reopening plan, special needs students at Genesis Academy and High Roads School of Nashville will return to classrooms on Thursday. Then, preschoolers, K-4 students, and those with exceptional needs may return starting February 9. Grades 5 and 9 may return on February 18, followed by grades 6, 7, and 8 on February 25. The last to return will be the remainder of high schoolers – grades 10-12 – on March 3. 

Read the full story

Nashville Court Rules Portion of Shawn Joseph’s Severance Agreement is Unconstitutional

Shawn Joseph

A part of former Nashville Metro Schools Director Shawn Joseph’s severance agreement is unconstitutional.

This, according to the Nashville-based FOX 17 News, which reported that a Davidson County Chancery Court made the finding. The station reported that Metro Nashville School Board members Amy Frogge, Jill Speering, and Fran Bush “found issue with the nondisparagement clause in Dr. Joseph’s severance agreement” that said board members could not “make any disparaging or defamatory comments regarding Dr. Joseph and his performance as Director of Schools.”

Read the full story

Metro School Board Member and Plaintiff Fran Bush Says Constitutional Lawsuit Against Former Superintendent Dr. Shawn Joseph is Still Pending

The lawsuit against former Metro Nashville Public Schools superintendent Dr. Shawn Joseph and the Metro government is still pending, one of the plaintiffs, a school board member, says.

Fran Bush is one of three MNPS school board members who are suing Joseph and the Metro government. The other plaintiffs are board members Jill Speering and Amy Frogge.

Read the full story

Truancy Letters Sent to Parents of Virtual Learners Should Be ‘Thrown in the Trash,’ Metro Nashville School Board Member Fran Bush Says

Metro Nashville reportedly sent nearly 6,000 truancy letters to the parents of students doing virtual learning, and one school board member says that is wrong and the letters should be “thrown in the trash.”

School Board member Fran Bush made the comment to The Tennessee Star on Sunday.

MNPS sent the truancy letters because of poor student attendance in distance learning, NewsChannel 5 said. The letters threaten legal action against parents or guardians of students who have five or more unexcused absences.

Read the full story

Nashville Parents Gather in the Rain to Fight COVID-19 Restrictions on Public School Students

Because of COVID-19, Metro Nashville Public School students have to stay home and attend virtual classrooms, but they are missing out on a wealth of opportunities that students in nearby school systems, without restrictions, already have.

This, according to a group of about 500 parents, students, and coaches who assembled outside in the rain Monday in front of the Metro Nashville Public School offices. They said they’re angry because children can neither attend school in person nor can they play sports.

Read the full story

Nashville School Board Members Wanted to Raise Property Taxes, Despite Past Excessive Spending

  Metro Nashville School Board members will not ask voters to raise property taxes this year, as some people expected, said board member Fran Bush (pictured above). This, because of a decree county officials put out Monday, Bush told The Tennessee Star. “It’s too late to submit the resolution. This comes straight from the Metro Election Commission,” Bush said. “We got the information from our attorney today.” No one from the Metro Election Commission’s office returned our request for comment Monday. The Tennessean reported last week that school board members might ask voters to raise the property tax rate by 16 cents so they would have more money for schools. Assuming school board member signed off on the referendum, the vote would have taken place Aug. 1, the paper reported. On Monday, however, The Tennessean reported that Tennessee law could stop school board members from asking for the referendum this year. “Under state law, the election commission cannot put to voters a question less than 60 days before an election,” the paper reported. As The Star reported, there were reportedly problems with the Metro Nashville Public Schools’ spending habits this year. According to a recent audit, district leaders failed to use…

Read the full story

New Chairwoman for Nashville School Board Brings Dissension

Sharon Gentry

By a 5-4 vote, and not without controversy, Metro Nashville Public School Board members elected a new chair, Sharon Gentry. But one of the four board members who voted against Gentry, Fran Bush, told The Tennessee Star she had good reasons. “With my research, with just her history, I felt we need a chairman a lot stronger,” Bush said. “My preference would have been Amy Frogge because she has been on the board a long time, and she has major experience in leadership and she understands and follows policy.” As other media outlets have reported, much of the strife on the board now revolves around Director of Schools Shawn Joseph and whether board members do a good enough job holding him accountable. The Tennessean quoted Board Member Jill Speering as saying she didn’t think Gentry capable of doing that. Board Member Anna Shepherd, who cast her vote for Gentry, told The Star it was a process of elimination. “I didn’t think either Amy (Frogge) or Jill (Speering) could lead the board in any kind of rational semblance. The fallback was Sharon,” Shepherd said. Board Member Christiane Buggs, meanwhile, told The Star she also voted for Gentry. Bush, though, said previous…

Read the full story