Nashville School Board Says Plan Shows Where Charters Can Do Most Good

581546_410885945632101_1284093613_nMetro School Board has come under fire for a decision to limit where the next batch of new charter schools can operate. But the resolution’s architect contends the measure isn’t anti-charter so much as a matter of setting priorities.

Board member Will Pinkston, along with board chair Cheryl Mayes and Schools Director Jesse Register, spoke with the Tennessean’s editorial board Tuesday.

Most of Nashville’s existing charter schools are North of downtown, and many are still adding classes every year. The new plan shifts the geographic target to the district’s most overcrowded zones, at least for next year. Pinkston says the point of the plan is not to curb charter growth, but to focus it in a place where it could do a lot of good, like the South side of town.

We’ve got to manage that growth carefully and those kids deserve to not be in extremely overcrowded buildings. They need capacity relief and we think charters can help provide that. Especially when you look at commercial vacancies along places like Murfreesboro Road and Nolensville Road, this could be a very good fit.

Given the high percentage of students in that area who don’t speak English at home, Pinkston says charter schools’ ability to be creative could prove especially helpful for teaching in those communities.

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