Just moved here from California and getting used to living and working in and around Memphis.
To my knowledge, this was a successful fundraiser last year. I totally expect this year's tournament to raise a lot of money and generate a ton of interest in this great organization.
iZone-ing just about every failing school in Memphis to avoid the ASD will become extremely expensive. Since SCS is the county school district, taxpayers throughout the county will have to pay for this extravagant use of funds. Allowing the ASD to takeover schools doesn't result in further unfair tax burdens placed on the shoulders of those living outside of SCS district lines.
"However, council member Myron Lowery requested a letter from the council be sent to TDOT officials telling them why the vote was delayed and that the council does not want to lose the federal funding for the project."
Lose federal funding for what? You don't want to help pay for the new road, so why would you want to hold out hope for keeping the money... for something else totally unrelated?
If you let it go, let go of everything.
I read this article as well as a more in-depth one in the Daily News (https://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2014…)
Here is a snippet:
“Minorities are not just minorities,” Brooks replied, citing 11 different classifications of minority groups in federal law. “The point is we have a population that is predominantly black here. … We need a level playing field here.”
She also said with local unemployment among black citizens higher than the overall rate and the rate for whites, there is a need to watch closely who gets county government contracts.
“I am looking out for people who look like me,” she said. “I sure am. That is an absolute fact. … If you look like me – underemployed, unemployed, last hired, first fired. It’s ridiculous and it continues and the beat goes on.”
Sometimes I feel like my transition to living in Shelby County has been seamless and smooth. I love the slower pace compared to LA. Other times, I'm totally bewildered about the amount of time and energy gets wasted by the politicians in this county.
Ms. Brooks has a valid point, if she were to be a private advocate for her favored groups of people. However, she is an elected public servant who is supposed to serve for the good of her district constituents as well as the greater good of this county. In my opinion, her advocacy conflicts with her responsibility to participate in the planning and administration of various functions of government for the entire county.
Ms. Brooks has every right and a ton of factual ammo to advocate for lowering poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, etc. However, when it comes to using public money, her heart is blinding her mind. Is she okay with the county hiring a black-owned firm that ultimately subcontracts or employs mostly latino workers? It's a slippery slope that doesn't portend the wise use of public funds.
Ms. Brooks' dismissal of Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, etc. and stating her position that she is looking out for African-Americans is simply unethical. People in power who are of different race have done this before to the detriment of their respective communities. However, that doesn't mean that our current leaders have to play the same game.
The race politics game hasn't worked for Memphis. Why keep playing the same song when it doesn't/won't create any substantive positive changes?
I personally think Mayor Goldsworthy herself destroyed any chance at negotiating for local control of those 3 schools with the release of the emails and speeches she gave that clearly upset the SCS board.
Suggesting that Germantown would charge tuition to attend a public school?!? In hindsight, that was just not very smart in my opinion. Even with her backpedaling and proposal to educate the non-Germantown kids through a cooperative agreement with SCS, anything coming out her mouth didn't stick to the wall.
Sad. Germantown might have received something better via negotiating than what they ultimately got had their leadership been careful with their words in discussing an unfinished battle (now finished of course).
This arrangement is going to feel weird for Germantown parents who live in the areas zoned for those schools. Do you abandon them just because the central staff and the superintendent are not part of the municipal school district?
I would hope not. That would be awkward with overcrowding at the other 5 schools. Most of the families that send their kids to each of those 3 schools hold and expect high standards. That isn't going to change just because of SCS administration. Hopefully, something can be worked out regarding eventual new school construction for the non-Germantown children (sharing costs?) so that Germantown can regain control of those schools in the future.
I'm all for stopping additional payments to the lawyers over this issue.
It seems noble to want to help the youngest of our population with pre-K programs so that they succeed and begin the process of stepping out of abject poverty, but I have to say that the enthusiasm that is expressed for the program needs to be tempered down a bit.
People shouldn’t expect reaping the benefits of a pre-K program through thinking in a vacuum. I have heard and read about the predictions that the program will fail in part due to the poorest parents not knowing how or refusing to “play their part” in their children’s lives.
I agree that if parents fail to support their child who is attending a pre-K program, then that son or daughter will still not have a decent ability to learn to read, write and speak at each level. No amount of funding is going to immediately reverse the negative impact of a poor home environment on a child’s intellectual growth.
I think we all have to be honest with ourselves and acknowledge that it is not just pre-K attendance that prepares a child for his/her future. There are a whole lot of other factors that have to be properly addressed to in order for us to witness true success stories coming from all parts of the city.
The results of the program may ultimately suggest perhaps that Memphis should have dealt with those other factors (public school management, blight, crime, employment opportunities, higher quality gov’t services, etc.) before blindly throwing money at a worthy cause that is highly complex.
My friend just forwarded me an official Germantown email regarding ongoing negotiations for control of the three Germantown schools. According to the email, Mayor Goldsworthy proposed options to be considered by the Shelby County Board of Education.
I’m quoting from that email:
“First, maintain current student attendance zones and execute 40-year leases to the City of Germantown for all eight existing schools located in Germantown. Goldsworthy restated that this plan is the least disruptive for the children and their families who attend the eight schools located within Germantown. She also added, ‘Germantown recognizes the concerns of the SCBE as to the duration of Germantown's commitment and/or fiscal ability to educate the children in the current attendance zones.’ To assuage that concern, Germantown proposed that attendance zones for students currently zoned to schools in Germantown would be frozen for the term of the agreement. In addition, any recommendation for modification of the attendance zones following collaborative review by the SCBE and Germantown School Board would be subject to mutual assent of both parties.”
“While the Germantown Board of Mayor and Aldermen (BMA) clearly always felt that the Germantown Municipal School district should include eight schools, lacking encouragement from SCSB and believing that six schools will contribute to greater stability than a five-school system, Mayor Goldsworthy also proposed a second option that would allow the City to obtain Germantown Elementary school as part of the municipal district. Under this proposal, Shelby County Board of Education would retain operational control of Germantown Middle School and Germantown High School. Both Germantown Elementary and Germantown Middle could be operated as grades K-8 schools which would provide continuity and feeder school patterns for the community, parents and students. ‘This is clearly a less than optimal situation; however, students will benefit if we can keep intact a larger portion of the district and reduce the amount of student transfer,’ said Goldsworthy.”
That first option sounds quite attractive to me considering all of the bitterness and wasted money. G-Town has stepped up to the plate and offered to maintain the current attendance zones for 40 years (to go along with the school building leases).
I’m of the mind that the county school board should take the first option and seal that deal, provided that the leases are not expensive.
Most, if not all, of us who have commented on this article will not be alive in 40 years to go to battle again over education funding and property values. Get the deal done and sealed with a touch of compromise so that life can move on and all of the attorneys have to go somewhere else to make money.
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By Micaela Watts
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