Early Childhood

Nashville Clears First Hurdle in Universal Pre-K Plan

By Julie Blair — February 19, 2014 1 min read

Nashville Director of Schools Jesse Register cleared the first hurdle in a push to offer all 4-year-olds preschool by 2018 when the nine-member school board voted unanimously Feb. 11 to turn two elementary schools into pre-K hubs.

The centers will offer 260 additional seats, part of a larger plan to ultimately expand the district’s pre-K offering from about 2,500 students to upwards of 4,500, Register said in an e-mail.

The need is clear, he said: Some 1,000 students are now on waiting lists to enter district programs and the demand for pre-K will increase as the population in the city grows from 8,680 4-year-olds in 2014 to 9,218 in 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

First, Ross and Bordeaux Elementary Schools, which are centrally located, will become model centers serving only preschoolers as of next fall, The Tennessean reported. Current students enrolled in those schools will be moved to other buildings.

In addition, students who now attend pre-K programs in other buildings will be transferred to the pre-K hubs, and new pupils will be added.

But it’s not quite a done deal: The hub plan needs budget approval from the city council and mayor this spring for $2 million in operating costs and $1.1 million to upgrade buildings, The Tennessean stated.

To learn more about the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, click here.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Early Years blog.