New Vision Academy, Nashville, Tenn.

Nashville charter school shuts down after being ordered to reduce enrollment

March 8, 2019
New Vision Academy was violating fire codes by having too many students in classrooms

A Nashville, Tenn., charter school that was ordered to reduce its enrollment has instead decided to shut down.

The Nashville Tennessean reports that New Vision Academy is closing its doors as of today, according to Metro Nashville Public Schools officials.

The school was told last week by the Nashville district that New Vision was violating the fire code because the church building it uses had too many students. At least 64 students were going to be forced out, but instead the school will close. That means 158 students will have to find a new school by March 18.

Among the code violations: The school had 18 to 20 students in classrooms that are allowed to hold only eight to 10 students.

New Vision already was under state and federal investigation for financial irregularities and complaints that it failed to comply with federal laws regarding English-learning students and students with learning disabilities.

Metro Nashville Executive Director of Charter Schools Dennis Queen says district officials with meet with parents to help them determine where their children can transfer.

"The week of March 11-15 will be utilized for enrollment of children in their selected schools, and children will begin their new assignments on March 18, 2019," Queen says.

About 15 New Vision staffers, including nine teachers, will lose their jobs. The district's human resources department will work to arrange interviews for vacant positions at other schools.

The Tennessean revealed in May 2018 that a group of teachers sent a whistleblowers' report to school board member Amy Frogge complaining of a variety of problems at New Vision.

The teachers were fired the day the story was published and later found new jobs at other schools.

The teachers said the school was not providing specialized classroom time for English-learning students or students with learning disabilities. 

Another financial concern raised in the whistleblower report was the salary of New Vision Academy’s executive director, Tim Malone, who made $312,971 in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017, according to the organization’s most recent public tax documents. His wife, LaKesha Malone, New Vision’s second highest ranking executive. She received $250,000 during that same period, documents showed.

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