Shelby County residents protest charter schools closure plan

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Community members attended a Shelby County Schools board meeting to protest the proposed closure of charter schools.

The Commercial Appeal ( ) reports that about 40 people spoke during a two-hour public comment session Thursday. The meeting focused on the proposed budget for next fiscal year, which includes an $86 million gap that the district may fill with the closure of schools.

Superintendent Dorsey Hopson has proposed closing three direct-run schools and six charter schools. Hopson had originally proposed closing 10 schools — a move he said would have saved about $8 million.

"As professionals, I challenge you to review the data and look at the valuable asset that you consider to be disposable," Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering student Ciera Dearing told the board.

Bryan McBride, a parent of a KIPP Memphis Collegiate Middle School student, argued that the plan would push parents out of Memphis.

"Start supporting the schools that are actually doing something," he said.

Hopson encouraged the community to lobby the County Commission for additional funding.

"I do agree these students deserve more," he said.

The current budget proposal includes about a $40 million boost from the county.


Information from: The Commercial Appeal,

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