MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County Commission and Mayor Mark Luttrell have very different plans on how pre-k education should be run in Shelby County, if it even happens.
Luttrell said, “The county commission program sends it to the school system. The school system is not obligated to use it, unless they choose to use it.”
Luttrell thinks it will take more than government money to make this program work.
He wants non-profits to help, “There are elements in our community that we think would be more than willing to share the responsibility of pre-kindergarten.”
The simplest way to explain Luttrell’s plan is that he wants to use surplus money from the county budget, and private donations to fund pre-k.
He wants to have a non-profit manage the money and the curriculum.
Basically it keeps Shelby County Schools out of the equation.
Luttrell says he has nothing against SCS, “It doesn’t have anything to do with trust. It has to do with leveraging and getting as much money for pre-k as you can.”
Shelby County Schools sent WREG this statement:
‘We understand that options are being explored to serve more pre-k students in Shelby County. The District¹s focus is on ensuring students enrolled our early childhood programs receive a high quality education.’
The county education committee shot down the Mayor’s plan Wednesday.
Instead, the committee supported Chairman James Harvey’s plan to pump $6 million dollars into pre-k.
Harvey wants Shelby County Schools to run the Head Start Program.
Deidre Malone is running against Luttrell for County Mayor, “Mayor Mark Luttrell continues to play politics with our children and tow the Republican Party line when it comes to Pre-K and Head Start. If I’m a school board commissioner, the superintendent, a parent of a child in need of Pre-K education or a taxpayer; I would be offended that Luttrell doesn’t think that Shelby County Schools Leadership can handle an additional $3 million. “