Charter School Diversity: The Battle of Nashville

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Kevin Huffman
  • Kevin Huffman
Memphis and Shelby County are not the only school systems making lots of news as they combine. Nashville has a battle that has the school board clashing with Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman and Mayor Karl Dean.

As described by The Tennessean, Huffman made good on a pledge to withhold $3.4 million in funding from Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools because the school board would not allow Great Hearts Academies to open a charter school in prosperous West Nashville. Charter schools typically serve low-income and minority students in urban areas. Memphis is the state's leading charter school incubator.

The ongoing story of charter school diversity and expansion is likely to spread to Shelby County and school restructuring. The Nashville news has been picked up by, among others, The Wall Street Journal, one of the nation's leading champions of charter schools and bashers of teachers' unions.

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, whose son taught in Memphis public schools as a member of Teach For America, sided with Huffman.

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