April 3, 2017
TrustED (blog) by Todd Kominiak
Last week, a lawsuit brought by public school parents in Nashville, Tenn., against an area charter school network received class-action status.
According to News Channel 5, the lawsuit accuses RePublic Schools Nashville of spamming local parents with text messages aimed at siphoning students from Nashville Metro Public Schools to the company’s for-profit charter school network.
In total, close to 4,000 parents received the texts. Attorneys representing aggrieved parents are now seeking $1,500 in damages for each message.
It remains to be seen whether the parents will win their legal battle. Either way, the story shines a light on a reality that many public leaders suddenly face: Competition from charter schools, private vouchers, and other alternatives is real. And many of these schools are investing in marketing to attract families.
Joel Gagne is president of Allerton Hill Consulting, a marketing firm that contracts with public schools. His take: Public schools need to step up their game if they want to compete with other providers. “K12 leaders have to adopt the mentality that they are competing for these students. And they must understand that this is no longer a fair fight.