SCS to invest in ‘critical focus schools’

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Alton Elementary is just one of 19 schools Shelby County Schools considers critical focus.

The school system said it plans on making important investments in hopes of improving achievement.

Former Memphis City Schools board member and current City Council member Martavius Jones said he's glad the system is making the investment.

"This infusion of cash finally has the resources to do so. We've been shortchanged from the state level. We could have made these investments some time ago had there been adequate funding from the state."

On the other side of the fence, pastor and former school board member Kenneth Whalum said it's too little too late.

"We've been having forums and meetings for years, for years man. When are we gonna stop kidding around, stop pussyfooting around and admit the fact we don't want our schools to be better."

The district looked at a number of factors including academic performance, attendance, facility conditions and neighborhood needs. From there the district now has a framework on where to move forward in helping these schools succeed.

Pastor Whalum said the district just needs to put more money toward the education of children.

"Am I the only one who understands there is a connection between poor schools and high crime?"