Worth the Fight? Metro School Board Weighs Suing State

Some Metro school board members doubt a court fight against the state would be worth the trouble. At issue is $3.4 million Tennessee’s education department is withholding as punishment.

Metro Superintendent Jesse Register wishes the state would restore the funding, but says he doesn't favor a lawsuit to get it. WPLN / Daniel Potter

Metro Superintendent Jesse Register wishes the state would restore the funding, but says he doesn’t favor a lawsuit to get it. WPLN / Daniel Potter

The school board drew the state’s ire when it didn’t approve the Arizona-based Great Hearts charter school. Some defended the move Tuesday night, at a board meeting to talk about how to respond to the cut. The school board’s Will Pinkston argues it’s become a distraction, and isn’t worth litigating for months, or years.

“Think about what we as adults are supposed to tell kids. In situations like this we tell them to walk away. The easy thing to do right now is to keep fighting; the harder thing to do is to move on.”

Board Chair Cheryl Mayes hinted she’s ready to walk away too, despite voting against complying with the state last month. Even so, member Amy Frogge pushed to consider a lawsuit at the board’s next meeting.

“We’ve been placed in a really impossible position as a board, and I think we are all tired, but my opinion is that we need to make sure that our students are not punished improperly by the state.”

Metro Superintendent Jesse Register says losing the state money isn’t a cash-flow problem, and won’t put anyone out of a job. But, pointing to needs like new computers, Register says it means $3.4 million the district won’t have.


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