Nashville’s school board is again saying “no” to the opening of more charter schools.
The board initially rejected five charter proposals in April, amid budget constraints and threats to teacher pay raises.
They’ve since been able to avoid significant cuts thanks to a property tax increase, but the group still voted Tuesday to deny a group of amended applications from Nashville Collegiate Prep, Ivy Prep Academy, KIPP Southeast Nashville College Prep Elementary and Middle Schools, and KIPP Antioch College Prep High School.
Christiane Buggs represents East and parts of North Nashville. She says while she supports all educators working to fulfill student needs, the district doesn’t have the capacity to add another building.
“We just do not have the money right now for another school, especially with COVID and with the idea that we are consistently underfunded at every level,” she said.
Fran Bush, who represents Antioch, was the only board member to vote in favor of at least some of the amended applications — a KIPP elementary, middle and high school that would be housed in her district.
“I am representing my constituents in District 6,” Bush said. “I’m definitely not a charter advocate. I’m a school board member that represents all. I understand that there are parents who want choice.”
Bush told other board members that at least two Antioch schools were either overflown or being pushed to student capacity.
“I’m asking for these students, teachers and parents to have some solution to the growing problem that we have in southeast Davidson County,” she said.
The charters can still appeal the decision to the Tennessee Board of Education.