Cash tells parents to get children to school - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Cash tells parents to get children to school

Dr. Kriner Cash Dr. Kriner Cash

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - At the close of the first day of school Monday night, Superintendent Doctor Kriner Cash gave Memphis City Schools parents a kick in the pants at a school board work session.

"Everybody please get your children to school," he implored.

Cash said it is unacceptable for the children of Memphis to miss the first day of class, or even the first week of school.  Traditionally, some students don't show up until a month and a half into the school year.

"It is something that I have never seen before, quite frankly," Cash said.

Cash said he hasn't seen such behavior since the days when students helped their families harvest crops before starting school. 

"In an agrarian society I understood it because the crops had to come in.  But we need to get our kids into school today, and no later than tomorrow if they didn't come today," explained the baffled superintendent.

Two North Memphis teens preparing to head to college told Action News 5 those who miss the start of school are a drag to the rest of the class.
"You need to go to school so you can get your work done to get out of high school so you can go to college," one student said.

One reason many students miss school early on is that parents cannot afford school supplies.

Tia VanHook says that wasn't the case with her children.  On the second day of school, she was shopping at Walgreen's with her toddler, her kindergarten-aged daughter, and her elementary school son.

"I just registered them in class today," she said.

VanHook said Dr. Cash had the right idea as she explained when her children would go to school.

"He's starting tomorrow and she's starting Thursday. She's in kindergarten," VanHook said.

If students don't show up for school when they're supposed to, it can also affect funding because the state gets false enrollment numbers.

When enrollment picks up later in the school year, the school system ends up having to stretch fewer dollars.

"Every minute counts for our children, every day counts for our children," Cash said.

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