The director of Metro Nashville Public Schools has come up with a new proposal at a popular magnet school.
At first, leaders wanted to eliminate the seventh and eighth grades at Martin Luther King Magnet School to prevent overcrowding, but a lot of parents were outspoken in their opposition to the proposal.
Dr. Jesse Register is now sharing a new plan that would actually increase the size of MLK Magnet to 1,500 students - an increase of about 300 students.
To accomplish that, the school would have to add 10 new classrooms as part of a $3 million capital expenditure.
The plan would need Metro Council approval, and Register said it would be a better way forward than boosting academic standards for entry - a proposal supported by some parents and teachers - because he worried about the impact on diversity.
For Register, making the student body bigger at MLK Magnet may be the ideal middle ground.
"I'm having to deal with the logic and the numbers and the capacity of a school. And this is very emotional for them. It's a program they love, and they're talking about their own children, and I hope we can bring the two together," Register said. "I don't consider it an olive branch. I consider it solving a problem."
The director of schools acknowledged parental pressure did play a role in this proposal, and he will begin selling the proposal to the Metro Council in a meeting with the council's education committee Monday evening.
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