Parents Rally In Support Of Metro Charter Schools

Parents Rally In Support Of Metro Charter Schools

CREATED Aug 30, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -  A concerned group of parents protested Thursday outside Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools' central office in support of maintaining funding for charter schools.

Metro's charter school parents arrived by the dozens. They want to send the message that continued funding and growth of charter schools is a good investment for the district.

"My oldest daughter is getting the tutoring and the help she needs before she fails," one mother said about why charters are a better fit for her 10th grader.

"I have noticed a lot of changes in her attitude and behavior," another parent said after putting his daughter in a charter school this year.

Next year, Metro will have to dig even deeper to fund 22 charter schools which serve nearly 7,000 students.

"It really puts a lot of pressure on our growth funds and pressure on other things we'd like to do," Metro's Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register said.

The estimated costs for charter's during the 2014-2015 school year tops $61 million, up from $35 million this year.

Like traditional public schools not all charters are created equal. But out of the one dozen Metro schools recognized as the best in the state, four are charters.

Still Dr. Register said limiting the amount of charter schools must be discussed.

While parents said they're concerned about giving families high quality options, district leaders said it's boils down to what Metro Schools can or cannot afford.

"I think we should always have the money to fund high quality seats and close those schools that aren't high quality," Alan Coverstone, MNPS Executive Director of the Office of Innovation said. "Us versus them is wrong no matter what side you're on."