Axios Nashville

Picture of the Nashville skyline.

It's Friday. You know what that means.

β˜”οΈ Today's weather: 75Β° and mostly cloudy, with some rain.

Programming note: We're off Monday for Memorial Day. But don't fret β€” we will be back bright and early Tuesday.

Today's newsletter is 668 words β€” a 2.5-minute read.

1 big thing: MNPS enrollment drop

Source: MNPS; chart: Axios Visuals
Source: MNPS; chart: Axios Visuals

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.

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

Illustration of an animated neutral emoji changing into a smiling-with-sunglasses emoji.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Memorial Day signifies the unofficial start of summer. Here are a few ways to mark the occasion:

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ 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."

πŸŽ† Fireworks at Nashville Shores: The show starts around 8:45pm Sunday and is included with admission.

πŸƒ 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.

3. The Setlist

Illustration of a chicken wearing sunglasses with fire reflected in the lenses.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

πŸ“„ 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)

πŸ— The city is looking for a development partner to help revitalize the former Hickory Hollow Mall and surrounding area. (Nashville Post)

On the job hunt?

🌳 Branch out with our Job Board.

  1. Communications Manager, Finance and Global Business Services at Amazon.
  2. 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

Data: TECNA; Chart: Baidi Wang/Axios

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

Flags at gravestones at Middle Tennessee Veterans Cemetery in 2020.
Flags at gravestones at Middle Tennessee Veterans Cemetery in 2020. Photo: George Walker IV/The Tennessean/USA Today Network

We hope you have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.

Our picks:

1️⃣1️⃣ Nate is planning family time and plenty of "Stranger Things" this weekend.

πŸ” Adam is going to see the "Bob's Burgers" movie.