LEAD may add more Metro Nashville schools - WSMV Channel 4

LEAD may add more Metro Nashville schools

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The area's largest charter school operator is about to grow even more. LEAD Public Schools is getting millions of dollars to expand, and that could mean transforming even more struggling Metro Nashville schools into charter schools.

Last year, the state set aside $30 million through a public-private partnership to help grow the number of charter schools in the Volunteer State.

LEAD is getting the first large amount of this money to expand in Nashville, where the group already operates one charter school and is transitioning another for a full takeover.

Kris Eubanks knows that in order to achieve his dreams on the field as an NFL player, he also has to be an all-star in the classroom. That's why the Cameron Middle School student was excited when his school became a transformational charter school under LEAD Public Schools.

"I really like the academics and the way they prepare you for the TCAP," Eubanks said.

LEAD is expanding its reach to five public schools by 2016.

"I think what it represents is really an investment in the program that LEAD Public Schools has started in Nashville that we hope to expand," said Shaka Mitchell, with LEAD Public Schools.

Starting this summer, LEAD will take over Brick Church Middle School in the same way it is transforming Cameron Middle.

They are also authorized to take over two yet-to-be-named schools in the special state-run school district for struggling public schools.

This new funding helps make that a reality.

"This is an investment in a director of curriculum, in things that will allow us to coordinate our academic program across all of our campuses and helps us scale up what we were doing at LEAD Academy in 2007 and now grow to multiple schools," Mitchell said.

Brick Church will be transformed just like Cameron by transitioning one grade at a time.

In fact, many of the lessons learned from Cameron, and some of the staff, will go to Brick Church to help make it as seamless as possible.

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