People Need Answers

With the election behind us, it is now tim to start working on the task at hand. The completion of the merger of the SCS and MCS. The past year has been a year of political maneuvering and fighting amongst all government bodies in Shelby County. However, from a school system viewpoint, it is time for us to get to work.

I had the privilege of attending two community meetings this week. One was in the small community of Woodstock and the other was a TPC plan feedback session in Bolton. I can contrast and compare the two meetings in terms of size and scope but there was a common theme amongst both meetings. WE NEED ANSWERS!

I represent around 140K people in northern Shelby County. While a majority of those folks live in incorporated municipal areas, many live in unincorporated areas with no such municipal designation. Their position is precarious due to the fact that Millington, Bartlett, and Arlington have decided to form their own school district and the word is they don’t want county children. Fortunately, i have not heard that come out of the mouths of these cities. However, it is the rumour that is being spread. And it is creating and amazing amount of anxiety in Woodstock, Northaven, Bolton, Lucy, and Rosemark communities.

I have been a staunch supporter of municipal districts. But I am also a staunch supporter of the folks outside of these areas. Without access to these schools, we could have displaced children. That is why at this point I believe that it is crucial to allow children in all areas to finish their schools and provide stability.

If there is just a merged district, all feeder patterns remain and school attendance zones don’t change.

If  it is a merged district with multiple municipal schools, all feeder patterns and school attendance zones don’t change. Municipal school districts will need to agree to educate the current children for some time certain defined in a MOU. The facilities policy has been modified and gives us a very detailed process for how we deal with buildings. It also now requires that transfer of property cannot directly result in the need to build new county facilities and create more bond debt. My goal is to remove the discussion from buildings to educational agreements for children.

At Bolton High School last night, I learned several things:

  • I have not done enough to drive a solution in attendance zones to give our people peace in these areas.
  • Our board must begin drawing lines in the sand and communicating it quickly and effectively
  • We look stupid when we have these events and have no answers
  • I learned what it meant to be held accountable although I am 1 of 23. I am the representative of these people. They look to me to drive their representation.

It is time for us to provide answers…

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