(Memphis) One week into the biggest school merger in American history and plenty of Memphis and Shelby County parents are still upset.
They’re complaining mainly about busing, food problems, and not getting through on the school district’s hotline, but the only way for parents to sound off is through the media.
There’s no board meeting for another two weeks and of course most of those 22 members are about to leave.
If the board had called a meeting this week or last, it would have given them a chance to look at the merger and see how things are going.
It would have also given parents a chance to talk about their problems or concerns.
Since that didn’t happen, they won’t have that chance for two more weeks.
“At the meeting we can’t answer the questions anyway,” said board member Patrice Robinson.
On Monday, several people in the district explained their reasons for no special meetings.
Robinson thinks everything is fine saying the bus and school food problems are fixed.
As for disgruntled parents, she says they should call.
“They should really just call a board member in their district and we could get back to them a lot sooner,” said Robinson.
But as far as ironing out the transportation issues, Robinson says that’s the superintendent’s job not the boards.
Outgoing Board Member Kenneth Whalum doesn’t think it would have made a difference if the board called a meeting to go over the hiccups or hear complaints from parents anyway.
“If you have that high a level of concern you will find a way to have your voice heard. You don’t need me as a school board member to tell you, whether it’s Twitter, whether it’s Facebook,” said Whalum.
Whalum says any special meetings would just be a PR stunt and complains nobody’s paying attention to what really matters.
“Anyone with common sense would know this would happen. How can you handle transportation issues of this magnitude, security issues of this magnitude without adequate preparation time? You can’t,” said Whalum.