Metro educators outline the necessity for cuts and consolidation

Education

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A school year coming when answers may be hard to find will take on a different look and location for some Nashville students. 

On a Zoom call on Thursday with Metro educators, councilmembers, and parents; the likelihood for school consolidation was covered.

“This has been a frustrating time for everyone,” said school board member Christiane Buggs, “We hate that this has happened in this timeline.”

Buggs outlined the scenarios amid the recent challenges following budget issues, the March tornadoes, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of low enrollment and staffing, in some cases low performance, there are three probable outcomes. 

Buena Vista Elementary would merge into Jones Paideia, Robert E. Lillard Elementary into Cumberland, and Alex Green and Joelton Middle School into Haynes Middle School. As a result, it saves Metro an estimated $3.5 million.

“We’re eager and excited for that to happen, but understand and are also sensitive to the fact there’s a whole other staff and students that are leaving their homes,” said Alex Green Principal Dr. Robyn Beard.

It will be uncomfortable for those families, but budget shortfalls make it almost unavoidable. District leaders say they must find a way to operate and educate, working out from under hole, well over $100 million.

“We can only do with what we are given,” Buggs said. “We make a request to the city, the mayor doesn’t give what we need, so we have to make cuts, unfortunately that means our children don’t get everything they need.” 

A vote is planned for mid-July to approve the consolidation.

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