New Metro Schools data show that, while student enrollment across the district is going down, schools in some areas of the county are overflowing. And where those schools are says a lot about the city’s growth.
Some of the most under-enrolled schools are in neighborhoods that have seen sweeping gentrification in recent years — East Nashville and North Nashville, specifically.
But head south to Antioch and Cane Ridge, and schools are bursting at the seams.
“In general we’ve seen enrollment decline say north of I-40 and enrollment increase south of I-40,” says MNPS analyst Ryan Latimer.
Antioch’s Thomas Edison Elementary is 122% enrolled, placing it among the most crowded schools in the city. Over in the neighboring Cane Ridge zone, its high school and two middle schools are all over capacity.
Latimer says the numbers have a lot to do with where families can afford to live and who is choosing public school over private.
“The more expensive the house, the less likely they’re going to have children or go to us,” he says.
So what happens when a school gets too full? Latimer says the district needs to think about adding space or rezoning the school entirely.