Director of Schools Jesse Register’s plan for six new Metro magnet schools received a boost on Tuesday in the form of a $12 million federal grant.
The grant, which is part of the Department of Education’s Magnet School Assistance Program, was announced at Tuesday’s school board meeting. Funds are to come to MNPS over the next three years.
Register said last December he planned to pursue  federal grant money to open six new magnet schools.
“These new magnet school programs draw on the strengths that already exist in our community and provide opportunities for our students to build skills for college and career,” Register said in a written statement.
New magnet programs, all theme-based instead of academic-based, are set to open during the 2011-2012 school year. They are:
• Churchwell Elementary School: a pre-K-4th-grade museum magnet school
• John Early Middle School: a 5th-8th grade museum magnet school
• Hattie Cotton Elementary School: a pre-K-4th-grade STEM school (science, technology, engineering and math)
• Bailey Middle School: 5th-8th-grade STEM school
• Stratford High School: STEM school
• Pearl-Cohn High School: an entertainment industry and music business magnet
“Improving our education system is the best thing we can do to build a strong foundation for our economy,” said U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, who helped secure the funding. “Our local, state and federal leaders have made education reform a top priority, and we are seeing the benefits of that commitment. These funds will help propel Nashville’s schools to the forefront of our nation’s education system and prepare our children to thrive in a 21st century economy.”