Metro Nashville Public Schools has dropped one plan to integrate three of its most racially isolated schools. That’s because a federal grant that could’ve paid for the program has been axed.
The grant program was announced three years ago — shortly before President Trump took office. Nashville would have used its share to encourage middle-class parents to consider Buena Vista Elementary School, Jere Baxter Middle School and Pearl-Cohn Magnet High School.
There’s been rapid gentrification around those schools in North and Northeast Nashville, but they’re only getting more isolated. Enrollment is dropping, as are test scores. The schools are overwhelmingly black and Latino, and almost all of the students are living in poverty. “Middle class parents are evading these schools,” the grant proposal states.
In a candid assessment of Pearl-Cohn’s music-based magnet program, the district said the school has failed to lure students from other attendance areas, as well as failed to retain students zoned to the school.
But without federal funding, a Metro Schools spokesman says they can’t go forward with the program.