Nearly half of all students in East Nashville don’t attend their zoned school. Part of that is the district’s own doing. Open enrollment, a rising trend in districts around the country, made it so that students in Nashville can attend school just about anywhere they want — as long as there’s an open seat. And, in East Nashville, competition is fierce among a crowd of private schools and charters.
Traditional public schools stand to lose a lot. With every student who chooses to leave his zoned school, roughly $10,000 of per-pupil funding goes with him. That’s why superintendent Jesse Register wants his schools pounding the pavement.
“I think [charter schools] have done a better job of getting out and recruiting and canvassing in neighborhoods, and I think we need to learn from that,” Register said following a meeting with parents at one of East Nashville’s struggling, under-capacity schools.
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