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Updated: Thursday, October 17 2013, 02:52 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The District estimates a $23 million budget shortfall next year. At the same time, a number of school buildings are only half full. In tonight's WASTE WATCH report, we're keeping an eye on where your tax dollars are going and what's behind this projected shortfall. The District has 2 major issues. New charter schools are taking more of the District's budget. Those charters are also taking students out of traditional classrooms and leaving schools under capacity. Metro is the 42nd largest school district in the country, but at least a dozen schools like Haynes Middle, Isaac Little and Jere Baxter are below 70% capacity.
Will Pinkston heads the District's Budget and Finance Committee. He says the growth of charter schools are costing the District both dollars and students. On Tuesday night, the Metro Council, which funds education, discussed the growing concern over charter schools, which are privately run with public money.
Educators don't anticipate layoffs, but consolidated schools and larger class sizes in middle and high schools are being considered. Pinkston says it's not a fight for or against charter schools, just a fair way to fund them. Will Pinkston says the good news is that the District is discussing the funding crisis early, giving them plenty of time to work on a solution before the budget goes to Council next May. You can find all our WASTE WATCH stories on Fox17.com. Just CLICK HERE.
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