Two charter schools run by Herenton’s DuBois network to close

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Two schools run by the W.E.B. DuBois Consortium charter network are expected to close at the end of the school year, Shelby County Schools said Thursday.

SCS said the district was informed that DuBois High School of Leadership and Public Policy in Southeast Memphis and DuBois High Schools of Arts and Technology in Whitehaven will close.

"Shelby County Schools and the DuBois Consortium will work together to ensure that families are informed of their options so they can make the best decision regarding education for their children,” a district spokesperson said.

Former Memphis Mayor Dr. Willie Herenton serves as superintendent for the DuBois charter network, a point of pride for parents who choose to send this kids there.

"He's pretty much an icon in Memphis," said Shuhn Dyson, whose daughter attends the DuBois elementary school located on the same Whitehaven campus as the high school.

School leaders sent home a letter Wednesday to parents of students at DuBois High Schools of Arts and Technology informing them of the decision to close.

"It did inform us that there was going to be a closure as far as the high school portion of it goes," parent Rosa Thorns said.

The letter said the charter school network is closing the High School of Arts and Technology June 30.

Shelby County School officials confirmed Dubois would also close the DuBois High School of Leadership and Public Policy, located in Southeast Memphis, at the same time.

According to the letter, "the market for securing the caliber of teachers is very competitive and has made it increasingly challenging for us to compete as we would like."

Thorns said that's why she had already planned to switch her son to Whitehaven High School.

“We cannot keep teachers over here for them to get necessary credits to graduate,” Thorns said.

The Memphis School Guide lists a student population of 229 at DuBois High Schools of Arts and Technology and 92 at DuBois High School of Leadership and Public Policy.

The two middle schools and one elementary school in the network are not closing, as of Thursday.

Herenton announced recently he plans to run for Memphis mayor again in 2019. The network has existed in Memphis for five years.