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See What One School System Did to Boost Enrollment

LaTonya White spends her weekends in East Nashville acting as a door-to-door salesperson. She’s not selling any products, however, but rather a free, public education. 

LaTonya White spends her weekends in East Nashville acting as a door-to-door salesperson. She’s not selling any products, however, but rather a free, public education. 

 

With a clipboard in hand she appeals to parents of youngsters that are just getting ready to enter kindergarten. You may be thinking that this practice sounds familiar. Charter schools have reached out to area communities to recruit students as common practice for years. But for public schools, it’s a whole new ballgame. 

 

NPR recently followed East Nashville’s striving public education system in the piece “Teachers Go Door-Knocking In Nashville”, where they highlighted schools struggling with attendance and retaining funding in the process. 

 

"I think we're just moving to the place where we do have to sell ourselves, where we do have to market ourselves, where we do have to say, 'Hey, look, this is what we're doing,' " said White.

 

Why the sudden need to get aggressive about student enrollment? Almost half of East Nashville’s students aren’t going to the public school in their zone. Because of open enrollment polices, which allow students to attend anywhere with an open  seat in Nashville, public schools in East Nashville are finding great difficulty in capturing students against attractive charter and private schools. 

 

That translates to funding dollars to the tune of $10,000 per student, which is good cause for superintendent Jesse Register to push for schools to follow White’s lead and start recruiting for students. 

 

"I think [charter schools] have done a better job of getting out and recruiting and canvassing in neighborhoods, and I think we need to learn from that," said Register.

 

Read the full story and comment below.

 

Article by Jason Papallo, Education World Social Media Editor

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