Nashville's LEAD charter group awarded $3.25M to support growth

Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 2:06am
Staff reports

Nashville’s LEAD Public Schools, a Metro charter organization, is set to receive $3.25 million from the Charter School Growth Fund-Tennessee to support LEAD’s planned growth and future expansion in Davidson County.

“This generous investment will help fulfill our promise to our first group of students and meet the demand from parents in Nashville’s most underserved communities to get a rigorous, college-preparatory education for their children,” LEAD Public Schools founder Jeremy Kane said.

LEAD Public Schools currently manages three charter schools in Nashville: LEAD Academy, which operates a separate middle and high school; College Cameron Prep, a former traditional public middle school recently converted to a charter; and Brick Church College Prep, which will become the group’s second charter-conversion middle school this fall.

The $3.25 million investment will support LEAD’s three existing schools and help fund its plans to expand to five combination middle/high schools by 2016. LEAD, which currently enrolls approximately 650 at its three schools, hopes to eventually serve more than 4,700 Metro students in grades five through 12.

In partnership with the Tennessee Charter School Incubator, the Charter School Growth Fund has created a pool of $30 million to support charter schools in low-income communities in Nashville and Memphis. Federal Race to The Top funds account for $10 million of the dollars while the other $20 million come from private donations.

Earlier this week, the Charter School Growth Fund announced a $3.5 million investment in Gestalt Public Schools, a charter group in Memphis.

“LEAD has an exceptional track record of raising achievement for students from Nashville’s highest-need communities,” said Darryl Cobb, a partner and vice president at the growth fund. “We are excited to support the expansion of this successful program.”

The Charter School Growth Fund is a nonprofit fund that invests in the charters schools across the nation. The Charter School Growth Fund-Tennessee was recently created to assist charters in this region.

This is the third major investment by the CSGF-Tennessee since it was established last spring. Over the next four years, CSGF aims to support the development of 4-6 new high-quality charter management organizations in Nashville and Memphis.

1 Comment on this post:

By: Balo on 5/11/12 at 6:51

Am I missing something? There are millions of dollars pouring into the current Charter School to expand. This month the Board of Education could approve up to 11 new charter programs. Why is the mayor asking to raise property taxes which a large percentage set to go to education? With the Charter schools pulling students from the public schools, why is more money needed? Just trying to figure it out.