SCS Board Unanimously Approves Agreements With Three Suburbs

(WREG-TV) At a Shelby County Schools board meeting Tuesday night, Superintendent Dorsey Hopson recommended that the board accept three suburban schools settlements.

The board then unanimously approved Millington, Collierville and Bartlett’s agreements, as well as the transfer of deeds for the school buildings within each town.

The Millington deal includes buildings within city limits and the city reserve.

All suburbs except Germantown have now settled with SCS.

Chairman Billy Orgel said talks with Germantown over school buildings continue, and he hopes to wrap up those talks in the coming weeks. He added that it’s not progressing as quickly as he would like.

Orgel also said that he wants money brought in from the suburbs to go into a trust, not the general fund.

As Shelby County’s school board moves past legal issues with the suburbs, it’s focusing on what some would call a crisis in its schools.

Only three out of ten third graders in Memphis can read.

If that’s not scary enough, board members say most prisons plan their population sizes based on third-grade literacy statistics.

For those reasons, the SCS board says now is the time to cough up the cash and get children and parents reading.

TCAP reading scores in Shelby County show 60 percent of the third-graders in the county read at a basic or below basic level.

At one inner city school, only two percent can read.

Board member Teresa Jones isn’t OK with that.

“There’s data to show their likelihood of success in life is very poor,” said Jones.

As the board starts to work on a budget, they are putting together a program to improve literacy rates.

That program includes reading courses for teachers, literacy coaching for students, and working with parents to start reading clubs in their neighborhoods.

“We came together and said what is going to be our big goal for the county, and we figured let’s get down to the basics and talk about literacy,” said school board member David Reaves.

All this will take money, and Reaves says its time to move funds around to make it happen, because he believes it will actually save money in the long-run as more students graduate.

“I think you look at your budget and your priorities and you reallocate your priorities,” said Reaves.

Board member Shante Avant says the board may push for extra money from the state to pull it off.

“So goes Shelby County, so goes the state. It would behoove the state of Tennessee to support the efforts of the children of Shelby County,” said Avant.

Literacy rates aren’t bad everywhere in Shelby County.

At some schools, 80 percent can read, but literacy rates are much lower in areas with more poverty.

The board is at the beginning stages of going over the information and seeing what programs are successful across the county.

Board members say you can expect to see these changes and new programs in place next school year.

At one point during the meeting, Hopson said cleanliness in schools is tied to student success, so principals should have a problem with how dirty some schools are.

The board also voted 5-2 to approve the renewal of the Teach For America contract.

8 comments

  • My Info

    All students, both MCS and SCS, deserve the same quality of education as suburbs students. They should be respected as the leaders of tomorrow that will someday run our city, state and country. They are all our children.

    • langor1

      It isn’t the education, it’s the home, neighborhood and economic situation of those being educated that dictates failure. The suburbs didn’t cause that problem.

  • I have the best dad

    You are so right. All children deserve the best education that we can provide. If all teachers, parents and everyone else worked toward that goal we would not be having this war on education in Shelby County. This is a sad time in our community when we can’t educate together but they marry and have children together.

    • Nonya Bidness

      It’s not a war on education. It’s a rejection of a culture that is does not reflect the values of the suburban cities. A culture which PREVENTS a solid education, a culture that rewards bad behavior. I culture of dependence on the government, not one’s self.

      So the message is …. “Memphis, change your ways or live in isolation and poverty.”

      I think it is too late for Memphis and we should allow the garbage to compost down then come in afterward and replant.

  • NotHappyTigerParent

    I can tell you as a Shelby County Parent we will definitely be PAYING for those TCAP scores to go up .. 15 dollars for a study guide for my 4th grader. Now tell my why we are paying that much money for study guides and not a much lesser if zero contribution towards making copies of a study guide instead. Better yet why isn’t the focus LESS ON the state tests and more on teaching within the classrooms and focusing on the subjects the kids are lacking in and not preparing them to take tests. What about families who are so strapped this 15 dollars isn’t something they can even afford. The letters that were sent home have not lead us to believe there is any option on the purchase of these study guides. … not a happy parent moving into this school district that was supposedly one of the better ones in the Memphis area..

  • Don

    All students, both MCS and SCS, deserve the same quality of education as suburbs students
    They (the children) will someday run our city, state and country. They are all our children.
    How True. As I remember a well educated person (WWH) was the one who ruined MCS schools. All the superintendents after could not bringing it back including the Cash who left here with a pocket full of money. A competent Mayor would not have let this happen.

    I was educated in the SCS system. but the first thing I was taught was to respect the teacher. (this was from my parents) It was instilled in me to start saying was Miss XXX or Mister XXX. and it went on and on. We would never be rude to these people who were teaching us. when we did something good they would praise us and when we didn’t talk down to us. they would show us our mistakes and tell us she knew we could do better if we wanted to.

    I now understand a lot of teachers hire in because they want a good income. The teachers we had hired in because they loved teaching, there aren’t many of those left.

    Thanks Teach!

  • Cooter

    Throwing money at the system won’t fix the problem. The problem is with the home environment, and free rides is what has caused that.

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