NPEF Updates

Learn about NPEF's latest announcements and work towards building schools where all kids thrive.

November 2021

Quarterly Updates

How Can Nashville Become a City that Prioritizes Children and Youth?

What would it look like for our city to truly prioritize our youngest generation? Although this question may have several answers, most Nashvillians agree our community is currently missing the mark. According to our most recent annual citywide survey conducted at the end of September, only 1 in 5 Nashvillians polled believe the city is placing children and youth at the forefront of decision making, a proportion that presented consistently even when focusing on those with children in the household and those specifically with children in public schools.

While this data is challenging, it presents an important opportunity for Nashville to make a strong, deliberate commitment to our city’s youth. But the responsibility to do so does not fully lie with one entity. Nashvillians agree on the importance of non-school factors on student success in addition to needed improvements across our public schools. They recognize it takes a variety of approaches by a vast array of organizations, sectors, communities, and individuals to bring about the crucial resources and positive changes we need. We look forward to working across the diversity of our city to ensure Nashville can one day be seen as a city that prioritizes ALL children.

State to Review Education Funding Formula

The state recently announced plans to review the Basic Education Program (BEP) school funding formula. We remain cautiously optimistic and urge the community to accept the state’s invitation for public engagement to ensure updates and changes to the formula reflect the needs of Nashville’s students. Our President and CEO Katie Cour will be serving on one of several school funding review committees along with several district, nonprofit, and community leaders. You can watch a conversation between NPEF’s Vice President of Policy and Programming Jennifer Hill and NewsChannel 5’s Chris Davis on OpenLine to learn more about the formula and the potential implication of the state’s review. To help demystify the BEP funding formula, we have created several resources that explain how it perpetuates inequities for students and what types of improvements would make the greatest difference for schools and kids.

Harnessing Educator Innovation

How can we harness educator innovation to address systemic inequities in our schools? NPEF’s new Teacherpreneur program will provide professional learning to an inaugural cohort of teachers to support the development of prototypes designed to address a systemic inequity present in our local education system. By the end of the cohort experience, participants’ prototypes will be ready to be tested and put into action on a large scale. The experience will culminate in a prototype pitch event in which top concepts will be awarded a total of over $25,000 in cash prizes and seed funding for implementation and expansion. This program, generously supported by Amazon, is based on other successful models across the country that bring the spirit of entrepreneurialism into the education space to give teachers the opportunity to pitch and potentially scale game-changing ideas for systems-level change in Nashville. Know a teacher who sounds like a great fit? Share the application – open through November 14.

What We've Been Learning

July 2021

Quarterly Updates

Why a Documentary about Nashville's Public Schools?

We started with a simple question—why are our schools the way they are and what's preventing some of our students from thriving in school? While we had some theories about those questions, we began to realize that we didn't have a solid understanding of why certain policies and decisions were put in place decades ago and the effect of those polices and decisions on our students today.

Fast forward two years and hundreds of conversations later and By Design: The Shaping of Nashville's Public Schools was born. With this one-hour film, we hope to create a shared understanding of how we got to where we are as well as provide space for conversations about where we go from here so that all our students can thrive in school. Learning about inequities in history is not about making people feel guilty. It's about understanding where we made mistakes so we can do better in the future. We hope you'll join us at an upcoming screening and learn about how you can take action today to dismantle inequities in our city.

Making Nashville Teachers the Highest Paid in the State

Based on a study funded by NPEFMayor Cooper allocated roughly $50 million to make MNPS teachers the best paid in Tennessee. Recognizing the deep flaws in the district's previous teacher salary structure, NPEF engaged Education Resource Strategies to analyze the structure and make recommendations for teacher pay increases. That study led to the Mayor's announcement, which resulted in the Council approving the largest increase in funding history for Metro Schools. Learn about how NPEF is continuing to advocate for new ways to fund our public schools so all our teachers and students have what they need to thrive. 

Join Us for the 2021 Public Schools Hall of Fame

Our 17th annual Hall of Fame celebration recognizes the lifetime achievement of Tennessee State Senator Brenda Gilmore with the Nelson C. Andrews Distinguished Service Award. Distinguished MNPS Alumni to be inducted into the Hall of Fame include Lisa Ferrelli, graduate of Bellevue High School and Senior Vice President at Bank of America; Don Hardin, graduate of Maplewood High School and co-owner of Don Hardin Group; and Dr. Alex Jahangir, graduate of Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School, orthopaedic trauma surgeon, and Nashville Board of Health Chair. A special virtual celebration is planned for September 29 at noon.

What We've Been Learning