Parents Divided Over Possible New Charter School - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Parents Divided Over Possible New Charter School

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NASHVILLE, Tenn.- Metro School Parents got a chance to have their say about potential new charter schools coming to the Nashville area at a school board meeting Tuesday night.

The charter school in question was Great Hearts Academy based out of Arizona. The school already serves more than 5,000 students in Arizona and hopes to expand into the Nashville area.

"Great Hearts is a proven success in Phoenix and we need this option in Nashville," said parent Karen Meredith. "Great Hearts is proving that each and every family, regardless of income or academic achievement can have access to a great public education."

The possibility of the private charter school coming to Davidson County brought out supporters and critics to the school board meeting. While the school has shown great success in the achievement of its students, some say they are not 100% in support of the current plans of the school.

"This is completely unacceptable," said Anna-Marie Farmer with the group Nashvllians Concerned Abort Great Hearts. "Great Hearts will not tell us where its first or subsequent schools will be."

Many parents with concerns about the school also worry about their policy opening enrollment to any student, not only low income students or student enrolled in failing schools.

A Nashville spokesman for Great Hearts Academy and said the school is in the business to educate and that's what they will do in Nashville if approved.

"Our is a lottery based system, in that when we announce a new school every resident of Davidson County has an opportunity to apply, just like they would a magnet school here in the district. They have every opportunity to apply to our school and get accepted, there is no tuition requirement, and there are no admission standards. There are no other requirements other than to sign up before the deadline to apply to one of our school and then let the lottery run its course," said the spokesperson.

Tuesday's meeting was for public opinion. The school will meet with Metro Nashville review committee next week. They could make a decision by the end of the month.

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