These School Board Races Are In The Running For Middle Tennessee’s Most Intense | Nashville Public Radio

These School Board Races Are In The Running For Middle Tennessee’s Most Intense

Jul 28, 2016

The past couple of years haven't been easy for Williamson County schools.

Nor for its students, says Margaret Overton, a recent graduate of Brentwood High.

"Just the way that curriculum was being approved, the way people were treating the history classes that I was taking, it seemed very nonacademic in some ways," Overton said.

Overton says the disputes seemed to be primarily political. For the sake of her friends still in the schools and her younger siblings, she'd like to see such fights put to rest.

School board races are driving voter turnout in much of Middle Tennessee. But among the most intense have been the races in Williamson County, where voters hope the results will bring some order to what's been a fractious board.

The controversies have some parallels elsewhere. As in neighboring Maury County, there have been disputes over Common Core and supposed Islamic bias in the textbooks. Like Metro Nashville, there have been claims of secret political activities.

On top of that, there's been a push to oust the superintendent.

Now, with seven of Williamson County's 12 seats up for election voters like David Cortez hope the results will help the board put the unrest behind it.

"I think they're doing a better job," the biochemist said shortly after voting at the Brentwood Library. "I hope that going forward, they can continue to work through their differences, but primarily focus on what's good for the children and the students and stop focusing on politics and things that are distractions."

Cortez says Williamson County schools have been good, but they're growing fast. The board has to work together if it's going to manage that growth.