Memphis City Schools may close or consolidate some schools - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis City Schools may close or consolidate some schools

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis City Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash told school board members Monday night that dozens of schools may be closed in an effort to keep the school system afloat.

Tuesday, Memphis City Schools Deputy Superintendent Hitesh Haria explained why the district is now considering merging and/or re-purposing some of its 209 schools.

"(To) ensure that we're utilizing our dollars in the best possible manner to get the best lift in student achievement," he said.

According to Haria, there are 50 under-enrolled schools, but that doesn't mean they're all on the chopping block.

"We have to come up with that criteria with our community," he said. "So right now, I can't say what schools are going to be considered or what's the criteria exactly."

While the school system has not determined the criteria to close specific schools, board policy requires that they follow specific guidelines.  Those include:

  • Enrollment
  • The cost-effectiveness of that school
  • The safety of the building itself
  • If re-purposing the building would serve the community better - be it sharing, leasing or selling the building to an outside entity.

The process will begin with a series of community hearings.

"We invite our staff, our parents, our community to come in and help us craft what is the criteria that we should look at," Haria said.

Memphis City Schools will also conduct a "School Closing Impact Study" to see how a closure would impact students, teachers, parents, the neighborhood, transportation, and even the historic registry.

School policy says the district must announce a school closing before the Summer break of that closure.

For a schedule of the public hearings, click here.

Copyright 2010 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly