Making the best out of a tough situation

In February of this year, I was patiently waiting for a November showdown with Bobby Simmons for alderman position 4. But as God would have it, I was compelled to remain on the SCS board. I always believed that if municipal schools did not materialize this year that we would need a strong voice on our board. Well, we are here today.

While I know that there are efforts to continue the fight for municipal districts, I must move forward with making the best school district as we can for all of us. With that said, it is time for the school board to start making some moves to stabilize our district.

1) We must solve our superintendent dilemma. Kriner Cash’s contract has been non-renewed. However, we are walking down the road of conducting a superintendent search. I don’t believe the timing is right and I plan to vote to push off an superintendent search until after the merger.

2) We must make a move to go ahead freeze boundaries for two years although I would like to push for 5. Allow children to finish schools in their feeder pattern.

3) From a policy viewpoint,we need to minimize or eliminate modifications to policies that significantly impact the populace and change over time after merger. (especially the employee children transfer policies)

4) Hold a summit of the cities to discuss 2013 and what they would like to see happen in 13 to makes sure their desires are integrated into the decision making process.

5) The board needs to pass a resolution to ask the TN general assembly to convert Shelby County to a special school district. This would in effect freeze the board at 7 members and allow the assembly to set our school tax rate. This would remove all authority from the county commission(over the board of education) and better align our education strategy with the commissioner of education and the state department.

I think that my role moves more to making peace and designing a district that can suit the needs of urban, suburban, and rural children.

I want each of you to know while none of this is ideal, I will do all that I can to make it work. I know that you did not pick this fight. However, we all have options and my options right now are to make this district work. I will need your help.

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