Transition Planning Commission Releases First Draft of Unified Schools
(Memphis) After almost a year of planning, the Transition Planning Commission is releasing their first draft of how the unified schools will work.
The plan could cost 20% of the system’s staff their jobs.
This announcement comes as the commission cuts $70 million dollars in duplicated services and promises parents more options under the unified system.
The Transition Planning Commission is planning to teach 170,000 children when Shelby and Memphis open the merged schools in August of 2013.
But that number could change this August when the suburbs vote on whether or not they want to open their own districts and fund them.
The Transition Planning Commission says if the suburbs break off and form their own schools, the current plan they have will still work they will just have to shrink the numbers.
Friday, they announced plans that roll forward with no plans of municipal districts.
Those plans close twenty-one schools in the northwest and southwest areas of Memphis that are nearly half empty in some cases.
They also recommend eliminating 20% of the unified system’s workforce.
This comes as management positions are duplicated and custodial work and transportation are outsourced.
TPC president Barbara Prescott says the systems employ about a thousand new people every year and they plan on absorbing some of those cuts by not hiring new people, “We think this is hard. It will be hard for the school board to do. Of course they will have to approve this, but in the long run we believe this will improve the programing for students.”
Sally Shelton thinks it’s great the transition commission is streaming the management positions because it will save tax payers money, “The management of it, there are just too many people and I hate people to lost jobs but they shouldn’t have them in the first place.”
The plan also adopts new rigorous strides for students.
The TPC calls for the doubling of advanced placement courses and offers universal Pre-K for all Shelby County children.
Parents will also get to choose to what school their child goes.
The commission is also recommending a unified superintendent be named by the fall and have set up benchmark dates for the unified schools board to meet in implementing these changes.
Luvinia Towner’s cousins go to Memphis City Schools and she’s excited about the merger and thinks it will be good for her family, “Students can have equal opportunities for both Shelby County and Memphis City Schools because there is a difference, and a lot of people want to say there isn’t a difference.”
The TPC has scheduled the following events for the public to view the plan and give their input:
- Teaching and Learning Academy – 7/9
- Houston High – 7/10
- Bridges – 7/12
* More TBA