I am not even sure where to begin.
First, let's be clear about Mr. Morrison. He has never worked for Memphis City Schools. He worked for Shelby County Schools as an 8th grade science teacher and since then has decided to work for an education company as a TCAP consultant. Mr. Ford is definitely an employee for Memphis City Schools. He works at a High School as a Math teacher. Ms. Halbert was a School Board Member and if you ask some of your friends on the City Council Mr. Branston, they will tell you off the record that they regret following her reasons that schools should be defunded back in 2008.
The questions isn't whether this City Council is anti-education. The question is are they anti-PUBLIC education? How many current city council members who have children of age actually attend PUBLIC schools right now? The answer: ZERO. So, it's really not about if they care about education; however it is about whether they care about providing the funds to support free public education in this City. PERIOD!!
You put into words exactly what every other suburbanite believes are the reasons that MCS shouldn't ever merge with the beloved Shelby County Schools. The fear of co-mingling the two is paltable. The best thing that anyone in this community can do for MCS or SCS at this point is be willing to stand up and support both as they try to educate thousands of children for free.
Free education is a constitutional right in this country. It is a right whether a person is rich, poor, black, white, disabled or not. It is the duty of the local, state and federal governments to ensure that every child has access to a quality education at NO CHARGE. This City Council has shirked their responsibility to provide adequate funds to educate the children in the City of Memphis.
Public education is in CRISIS mode right now!! The US Department of Education knows it and so does the State of TN's Department of Education. For years we have allowed parents to believe that their children were doing well and they really weren't and now we are starting to pay for it. Did you see the AYP results for Memphis, Shelby County, Knox County, Davidson County, Hamilton County and a host of other counties in the state of TN. Did you see that just shy of 50% of the schools in this state didn't meet AYP? Everyone in this community needs to open their eyes and understand that our children's livelihoods are currenlty threatended. The jobs available in this country are knowledged based as opposed to the labor based jobs in the past. We do not have the human capital in our own country to fill many of these positions. Now is NOT the time to CUT education funds or give up on the children who find themselves in the public education system. A complete overhaul of public education in this country must be demanded and those elected to serve must really take a deep dive into understanding the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities required for our children to compete globally. If we don't do this now then we may as well start building new prisons in every major municiaplity across this country.
Not miraculously sir. It's called compromising which is a bad word to some elected officials in this City.
Your skepticism is understandable when your view is slanted against the School system already. They used their fund balance to sustain themselves last year, the year before that and the year before that when this entire mess began due to poor leadership in 2008!! There's not enough money to sustain the Schools this time. You would have seen that if you'd been at the meeting on last week.
As Hattie stated before, this is about having money in the bank not a bunch of empty promises!
I know that I responded to this same article last week!!
Mr. VanWyngarden please attempt to understand the facts without using rhetoric of elected officials.
During the City Council Education Committee meeting held on July 21, 2011, the Memphis City Schools outlined how it receives its funding and why the City funding is so crucial. Did you attend this meeting? Probably not due to the language you used in the last paragraph of your article.
During this meeting it was revealed how money comes to Memphis City Schools. Prior to this City Council, the schools would receive City funds in the month of August and majority of the funds (more than 80%) by end of October. That hasn't occured since 2008 which resulted in a depletion of the School District's fund balance (savings). It was further stated that the STATE of TN sends 10 EQUAL installments to MCS starting in August through the remainder of the school year. Shelby County Government doesn't send funds to the district until January which is interesting since their tax bills aren't due until the end of February, but I digress!
Needless to say, MCS does not receive all of it's "Billion Dollar Budget" at once!!! Please be clear in reporting on this and ensure that the citizens of Memphis have access to clear, concise and factual information.
That's one of the main reasons I read the flyer daily. Please don't let me down Flyer staff!!
Not so fast Mr. Branston.
It is interesting that you continue to report the same language that Chairman Lowery champions "the money we give them are a small % of their billion dollar budget." Same song just on a different station huh!! Reality is that if MCS does not receive the adequate funds from the City of Memphis then the STATE funds are in serious jeopardy. Let me say that in a different way: No City money + No State money= No school for MCS period!
I will state once again for those who will read the portion that you contributed Mr. Branston, Memphis City Schools does NOT receive $1.3Billion dollars at once. The system starts the school year with money from the City of Memphis (paltry amount since 2008 which has resulted in having to use money from the fund balance) and 1 (one, uno, un) of the 10 monthly installment from the state of TN! That's a fraction of the "Billion Dollar Budget." The money from the County does not come until JANUARY!! Please be clear and honest regarding what is really happening. You attended the same meetings that Mr. Baker attended yet you are still clearly advocating directly for the City of Memphis.
Also, past City Council's have been willing to invest in children that attend Memphis City Schools and have not searched for reasons to cut the Schools budget. It has become quite clear to many that this City Council that governs this City came into the job attacking the one place where many children are able to find solace. It's really shameful.
It's interesting that the talk now moves to discussing the merger. What will happen if the City gives the money and then Judge Mays rules? Who knows what will happen, but I know exactly what WILL happen if the City doesn't give the money to the school system. We won't have school at ALL!!
Great post jcov40! I couldn't have said it better myself.
It was amazing the amount of coverage MCS received on a weekly basis prior to Dec. 20th, but now it's getting coverage on a daily basis. I have lived all over this state and in few other areas outside of TN as well and I haven't ever experienced this before. Slow news day, lets see what we can turn up about MCS? This is the MO for most of the news organizations in this City.
There are actually many things happening within MCS that are quite great actually; however, that never makes it to the news because nothing is ever good enough for many people in this City when it comes to MCS. Even having the President as BTW High School's commencement speaker received jeers from some. It's really sad.
The Children KNOW!! Do you realize that? They KNOW what you think of them. Regardless of the strides many of them make on a daily basis, they know that so many in this City want and expect them to fail. Some succumb to the preconceived notions set by those who do not care for them and many more achieve great things each and everyday. Are children really our future or has that become the meaningless sound bite that reverberates around these children each time a negative and usually misleading story makes it across the airwaves or in newsprint?
How about this Memphis and the Memphis Flyer? Let's look for and actually report once a week about something great that has been achieved by a Memphis City School student. Do you think you can end the perpetual gripe sessions about the merger and all things wrong with MCS to accomplish this? I am positive that there are a multitude of great things people WILL learn about these children.
It is all about the children right since they are our FUTURE!!
Why is that citizens of Memphis have no idea that Public Education in the entire state of TN is making a grade of D or less? Are you even aware that even Shelby County Schools performed dismally on a scale of 0 to 100 with a final overall score of 57.419 for reading, 48.839 in Math? This is not good either. You can make cut scores what you want, bottom line close to half of the kids in the Shelby are performing below basic skills and MCS is performing even more poorly. What would a State takeover accomplish really? What will a state where the children are not even making it to total of at least 70% proficiency going to be able to do? That's not the solution either.
Public Education in this country is in a tailspin people. It is in NATIONAL CRISIS MODE and NO ONE is putting forth any real effort to fix it. If we as a nation and as a city are unwilling to provide adequate funding to help educate our future which is our children, then be prepared for what you will get in return. More crime and a larger law enforcement budget.
It amazes me that people are so ignorant and have no idea what they are talking about. Memphis City Schools does not receive all of it's "billion dollar" budget all at one time. Get the facts straight people. The City funding in early August is critical to opening schools because county funds don't come to the district until January. The State sends its money in 10 equal installments and passes through the federal funds in like manner. Get it straight before you moan and groan about budget percentages Chairman Lowery and Mr. Vanwyngarden.
By Chris Davis, Susan Ellis, Toby Sells, and Maya Smith
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