SCS parents have until Sunday to ‘opt out’ of information sharing

Memphis Lift worker

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As a mom, ShaRae Hicks knows she has a lot of options for her kids’ education. She looks to Sarah Carpenter’s Memphis Lift organization for guidance.

“Parents need to know the choices and options they have when it comes to education for their own children,” Carpenter said.

Just this year, the state legislature passed the “Tennessee High-Quality Charter Schools Act,” allowing charter networks to get student information from local districts.

The information includes names, addresses, birth dates and even height and weight. The only way for parents to keep it from the charter networks is to opt-out using an online form by Sunday.

Rep. Antonio Parkinson said he fought against the bill because the requirement is unfair to districts like Shelby County who get funding per student.

“They’re trying to give them an advantage or opportunity to siphon off students from Shelby County Schools,” Parkinson said in August.

But Hicks said she was fine with passing along her kids’ information and decided not to fill out the opt-out form.

“I didn’t make the choice to opt out because I wanted to see all the choices and opportunities that I have,” she said.

“The district has great schools, some not so great schools. Charter schools have great schools and not so great.

We want to be able to decide for ourselves where we want our kids to go,” Carpenter said.

“Stop treating our kids like they’re a piece of property. It’s about money I feel like.”