Claims charter schools boot struggling students shortly before state exams and take in few kids with disabilities should be included in Metro’s audit of the city school system, says one school board member.
The board's Budget Committee Chair Will Pinkston wants the city-funded audit — which will comb through operations at the $746 million school district — to also “resolve these current claims” against Nashville’s charter schools, he said in a letter to Metro Auditor Mark Swann Friday.
Metro Council’s audit committee already approved the scope of the audit earlier last week, largely limiting focus on charter schools to their per pupil costs and how charter school budget allocations impact resources on non-chartered schools. With the scope in place, Metro is expected to begin asking for bidders on the audit. Swann says if the committee approves of Pinkston’s additions, “we’ll find the resources to get it accomplished.”
Councilman Steve Glover, who sits on the audit committee, said it isn’t too late to consider adding the two items to the audit.
“If the guidance hasn’t been sent to the market, then there’s plenty of time to adjust it. I’m frankly surprised it wasn’t in the mix to begin with,” said Glover. “Unless it’s going to add a substantial amount of money to the audit, I’m not sure what the hangup would be,” he said.
Councilwoman Emily Evans spearheaded the Metro audit and said Pinkston’s questions should be handled by the school district and its charter school office.
“I think that request is a day late and a dollar short,” she said, adding the focus needs to be on charter school funding. “We’re not interested in micromanaging individual schools.”