Nashville Schools Find New Friends

Written by Patricia Hawke for

 In recent years, Nashville schools have made great improvements in test scores and school graduation rates, two very important parameters in judging the state of a school system’s health.  For this, the education system here deserves praise.
But the fact is that budgets are getting increasingly tighter at many school districts.  When inflation rises and costs increase, it’s harder to maintain the kind of high standard levels in Nashville schools that have been achieved with such hardship.  There are schools that cater to large communities from impoverished children from low socio economic backgrounds and minority groups. These Nashville schools often find themselves struggling to fit all their needs within the amount of funding that’s allocated to them.
Is Private Funding of Public Schools the Answer?
With the importance of education for the progress of society now more evident than ever, a group of philanthropic organizations have come forward to make sure that the quality of education at Nashville schools does not suffer due to a lack of funding. These organizations realize that Nashville’s growth depend on the quality of human beings that graduate from its schools every year. Towards this end, they have set up a program called Friends of Nashville Schools. 
Friends of Nashville Schools is a non profit program that brings together people from all walks of life who are united in their concern for children and education. There are parents of children in Nashville schools, grandparents, educators who work hard to make a difference, but have their hands tied due to lack of funding, and other concerned citizens and Nashville residents.
Friends of Nashville Schools is part of a greater group called Stand for Children Tennessee that has chapters in a number of cities including Nashville, Hamilton city and Memphis.  The program has a number of aims that are listed out on its website, all furthering the cause of education in the city.  Friends for Nashville Schools has kicked off some ground breaking programs that have changed the way things are done at a number of Nashville schools. 
For instance, the Make a Change program seeks to find long term solutions to problem behavior, instead of  the old method of out of school suspensions that don’t seem to benefit any one at all, least of all the students.   Through their program, Friends for Nashville schools members held meetings with the principals at least 9 Nashville schools to demonstrate the efficacy of the program.  The program has since been expanded to include other schools, and is just one example of the far reaching changes that Friends of Nashville schools has brought about.
Friends of Nashville Schools are also pressing the Metro City council for greater investment in Nashville schools. Changes have already been made. The 2006-07 budget allowed for an increase of nearly $32 million for Nashville schools – not a small accomplishment by any standards. I predict that we are going to see a lot more pleas for private funding from the nation’s public schools.