May 27, 2022
It's Friday. You know what that means.
☔️ Today's weather: 75° and mostly cloudy, with some rain.
Programming note: We're off Monday for Memorial Day. But don't fret — we will be back bright and early Tuesday.
Today's newsletter is 668 words — a 2.5-minute read.
1 big thing: MNPS enrollment drop
Enrollment in Metro Nashville Public Schools is down 14% over the last decade.
Why it matters: City leaders are in the midst of debating the $1.1 billion MNPS operating budget while seeking to fill a $22.6 million gap driven in part by enrollment drops.
Context: The already declining enrollment fell sharply in the first full school year following the pandemic, but is showing signs of leveling off.
By the numbers: For the 2012-13 school year, MNPS enrollment for students in pre-K through 12th grade was 77,819. That number fell to 66,725 for the most recent school year.
- At the same time, charter school enrollment has skyrocketed from 3,251 students in 2012 to 12,926 this year.
- State leaders have increased the number of eligible students for charter schools and sapped local school boards of their power to approve new charter schools.
Background: Mayor John Cooper proposed a $91.2 million funding increase for MNPS to go toward pay raises for support staffers like bus drivers, cafeteria workers and language specialists, as well as a paid family leave policy.
Yes, but: MNPS officials subsequently realized they were getting $22 million less than expected.
- The state had maintained funding levels for districts that saw enrollment drops during the pandemic, but that funding guarantee was taken away for the upcoming school year.
What we're watching: Metro Councilmember Burkley Allen asked MNPS director Adrienne Battle to identify at least $10 million in possible cuts to narrow the gap.
- Council will vote on the final budget next month.
2. Ideas for your long weekend
Memorial Day signifies the unofficial start of summer. Here are a few ways to mark the occasion:
🇺🇸 Field of Honor: A display of 300 American flags will be set up on East Division Street in Mt. Juliet throughout the weekend to mark the holiday.
- The display, which is free of charge, is hosted by the Exchange Club of Wilson County and American Legion Post 281.
🤠 Kenny Chesney at Nissan Stadium: Seats are still available to see country music's most summer-friendly singer perform hot-weather hits like "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems" and, appropriately enough, "Summertime."
- Tickets start at $17.
🎆 Fireworks at Nashville Shores: The show starts around 8:45pm Sunday and is included with admission.
- Waterpark tickets start at $32.99.
🏃 Memorial Day Dash 5K: The 22nd annual race, hosted by the Nashville City Cemetery Association and the Metro Historical Commission, starts at 7:30am Monday. The course runs through the scenic Fort Negley Historic Park.
- Registration is $40, and prizes are awarded for the best patriotic costumes.
🍻 Patio beers: The opportunities to drink outside keep increasing thanks to Nashville's growing craft brewery scene.
- TailGate's headquarters on Charlotte Pike has one of the most spacious outdoor drinking areas in the city.
- Yazoo drastically increased its outdoor seating area after relocating to Madison.
- And Diskin Cider has a comfortable patio and an events calendar loaded with food trucks, music and trivia nights.
3. The Setlist
📄 A study released yesterday points to critical shortcomings in how Nashville addresses homelessness. (Tennessean)
🍎 Gov. Bill Lee's education savings account plan still faces hurdles. (Tennessee Lookout)
On the job hunt?
🌳 Branch out with our Job Board.
- Communications Manager, Finance and Global Business Services at Amazon.
- Director-SAP Quote-to-Cash at AO Smith.
Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.
Hiring? Post a Job.
4. TN tech sector booms
Tennessee saw a bigger percentage increase in tech jobs than any other state during the pandemic.
- Tech jobs here jumped 7.6% from December 2019 to December 2021, according to a report from the Technology Councils of North America released earlier this month.
Why it matters: The findings are the latest indicator of our region's growing clout in the tech sector.
- Nashville is recognized as a "burgeoning tech hub" attracting interest from Amazon, Oracle and several other companies.
State of play: Experts expect tech jobs to remain a key driver of the local economy.
- Tech job growth in Middle Tennessee is expected to outpace the national average through 2025, according to a report from Middle Tennessee State University and the Greater Nashville Technology Council.
5. 1 pic to go
We hope you have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.
1️⃣1️⃣ Nate is planning family time and plenty of "Stranger Things" this weekend.
🍔 Adam is going to see the "Bob's Burgers" movie.