SCS Board Member Flip-Flops on Charter Schools

Pickler

(Memphis) Now that Germantown has an elected school board, negotiations can start on who gets to keep Germantown High, Middle and Elementary schools.

Shelby County Schools wants to keep them, and so does Germantown for their new school system.

School board member David Pickler thinks he may have an answer.

He says with a simple majority vote, Germantown parents and teachers can take the schools over and form a charter.

“We cannot continue to see resources sapped from the children we are worn to serve,” said Pickler in September of 2013.

Two months ago, Pickler introduced a plan for the school board to back a state bill that would ban charter schools across the state for two years.

But that plan failed.

At the time Pickler said, “My concern is, every time we approve a charter we take away resources from the children who are still in this district and we have the obligation to serve.”

He claimed charter schools steal resources from SCS students because the money would go with the students from SCS to the charter district.

But now Pickler is encouraging the approval a Germantown Charter School district if the county doesn’t let the municipality keep control of Germantown Elementary, Middle and High schools.

He’s traveling, but I asked him over the phone why the change of heart.

“The charter option is something that would at least get us a long way toward a better opportunity for the children,” explained Pickler.

He now says charter schools aren’t his first choice, but if the charter option is going to be out there he thinks Germantown should take advantage of it.

“I believe strongly in accountable charters, and charters that report to a local governing body and do believe the charters in Germantown would be in that bill,” Pickler said Friday.

Pickler said he believes Germantown could be in the 17 percent success rate for charter schools if they had a management organization to operate it and provide accountability.

He claims its charters without accountability he takes issue with.

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