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MNPS Enrollment Drop Attributed To Nashville's Growth

Posted at 5:56 PM, Mar 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-26 18:41:34-04

Nashville may be a city on the rise, but take a closer at Metro Nashville Public Schools and you will see a much different story unfolding.

This year, district officials thought they would be gaining 1,500 students, but instead, they lost 500 students. As a result, they also lost $7.5 million in state funds.

The reasons are all tied to the city's growth.

"It's extremely difficult to find affordable housing," said Samuel Lester, who studies homelessness in the city.

Lester said more and more families are driven out Davidson County because of gentrification.

"It means students will be forced from the schools they're use to," he added.

But there is more behind the city's drop in student enrollment.

"It's a debate on whether they want to pay for private school or not," said Paul Sek, a realtor in Nashville and a city native.

Sek is selling plenty of homes in Nashville, but mostly to millennials who don't have kids. He said that couples who do have children are typically leaving Davidson County by the time middle school rolls around.

"They end up leaving when their kids get to middle school because they want free school zones that are better, and families don’t feel like paying for private schools," he added.

MNPS officials also believe undocumented families may be leaving Nashville for fear of retaliation due to current policies being enacted by the Trump administration, and enrollment numbers next year are not predicted to be any better.