Metro Nashville Public School Board Member Drops ‘F Bomb’ in Board Meeting

In a Metro Nashville School Board (MNSB) meeting that turned heated Tuesday night, one of the school board members directed a curse towards parents. 

Parents who attended the meeting – but were not allowed to speak – cheered when the board voted seven to one in favor of ending the school system’s mask mandate on March 21, when students return from their spring break.

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Metro Nashville Public Schools Board Chair Joins Campaign to Stop Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act

Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) Board of Education Chair Christiane Buggs announced her alliance with Save Nashville Now, a grassroots campaign to defeat the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act. It is unclear whether this alliance poses a breach of MNPS ethics policy. According to the Metro Nashville Board of Education’s Boardmanship Code of Ethics, board members shouldn’t represent special interests or partisan politics.

“[Board members] will represent at all times the entire school community and refuse to represent special interests or partisan politics,” states the policy.

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Metro Nashville School Board Doesn’t Have a Set Date for Reopening Schools

Tuesday’s school board meeting made it clear that Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) doesn’t have an exact date for getting kids back in the classroom. As in past weeks, Metro Nashville Board of Public Education reiterated that reopening would be contingent on the level of community spread charted by the city.

In a director’s report presented by District 6 representative Fran Bush, it was revealed that the current level of community spread sits at 8. Bush repeated the same information found on the MNPS website regarding reopening: in order to gradually reopen, the measurement needs to be at 7 or below.

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Nashville School Board Members Say No to More Charter Schools

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.

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Superintendent Should Report to Nashville’s Mayor, Carol Swain Tells WSMV, But Education Expert Says State Requires School Boards to Oversee Directors

  WSMV polled the four major Nashville mayoral candidates on whether the Metro Nashville Public Schools superintendent should report to the mayor instead of the school board, and only one said “Yes.” That candidate was Dr. Carol Swain. WSMV’s story is here. The Metro Nashville mayoral candidates who were polled were Swain, incumbent Mayor David Briley, State Rep. John Ray Clemmons (D-TN-55) and at-large Metro Council member John Cooper. Swain told WSMV, “I believe the director of schools should report to the mayor because there has to be some accountability. We’ve had problems in the past. The school board has a budget of almost a billion dollars and we know that we have some of the worst performing schools in the state.” Briley, Clemmons and Cooper said “No.” One education expert told The Tennessee Star that requiring a superintendent to report to an authority other than a school board would be unprecedented. JC Bowman, executive director of the Professional Educators of Tennessee, said, “That structure does not exist in Tennessee. Mayors in urban areas around the nation have closely aligned economic development with K-12 education. However, we have elected school boards to exercise oversight in the state of Tennessee of public schools.”…

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Shawn Joseph Pockets $261K Plus $10K in Legal Fees to Exit Metro Nashville Schools

Shawn Joseph

Dr. Shawn Joseph is out as Metro Nashville Schools superintendent — and you can take that to the bank, or at least, Joseph can take more than $261,000 to the bank. The school board voted 5-3 Tuesday to buy Joseph’s contract out, according to NewsChannel 5. Board members Dr. Sharon Gentry, Rachel Anne Elrod, Christiane Buggs, Will Pinkston, and Gini Pupo-Walker voted for the buyout. Jill Speering, Amy Frogge, and Fran Bush voted against the deal. Dr. Joseph did not attend the school board meeting, nor did Anna Shepherd, who was out sick. … The buyout would have Joseph earn his normal salary through July 31st, 2019, in addition to being paid for any accumulated vacation time, and potentially sick time. He would then be cut a check for $261,250. The board would also pay for up to $10,000 in attorney fees for Joseph in the defense of his license by the Tennessee State Board of Education. The board has proposed a one-year suspension for failing to reporter teacher misconduct cases. (sic) Joseph last month told the board it needed to discuss terms of his departure, NewsChannel 5 said, even as the station revealed the State Board of Education wanted…

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Nashville Mayor Briley Announces Desire to Seize Control of School Board Operations Over Its Handling of Superintendent Joseph

Nashville Mayor David Briley says he plans to effectively seize control of the school board and lambasted board members who are trying to remove embattled Superintendent Dr. Shawn Joseph, Fox 17 said. Briley then turned his ire to the Metro Nashville School Board, saying he “will use all my legal authority to influence the school board functions from this day forward.” … Dr. Joseph has previously stated he will not seek to extend his contract when it expires in 2020. Mayor Briley said he plans to be involved in the search for a new director as well as how the school board handles operations and finances. According to NewsChannel 5, Briley called school board members racist but tried to deny it. “Some of our school board members have not acknowledged why their actions are seen through a racial lens. They’ve failed to acknowledge the legacy of racism and the legacy of systemic racism in Nashville, the legacy of inequality that this city is still trying to overcome today,” he said. Briley went on to say that he’s not calling anyone “a racist” and added he knows most people in leadership have “good intentions” and “good hearts.” Metro Nashville Schools have…

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Metro Nashville School Board Passes Resolution Opposing School Vouchers

Add the Metro Nashville School Board to the list of people who have voted to formally oppose school vouchers. Seven board members present at this week’s meeting unanimously went along with this. Two board members — Jill Speering and Anna Shepherd — were absent, school system spokeswoman Dawn Rutledge told The Tennessee Star. None of the nine Metro Nashville School Board members returned The Star’s repeated requests for comment Friday. Rutledge said the school system will not make minutes of the meeting available for another week. According to the resolution, vouchers are “controversial, unproven and unpopular.” They also “eliminate accountability by channeling taxes to private schools without the same academic or testing requirements.” “Underfunded public schools are less able to attract and retain teachers,” according to the resolution. As The Star reported this week, school boards in Madison and Houston counties have passed similar resolutions, as did the Oak Ridge School Board. Wilson County commissioners also passed a resolution, which they will forward to state legislators. Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee stated in the past that he supports vouchers. Lee, however, has used ambiguous language of late on the matter and has issued no firm statement to describe what, precisely,…

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