Money from Gates Foundation grant to remain in place - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Money from Gates Foundation grant to remain in place

By Jamel Major - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - No matter what happens with the Memphis City Schools charter, grant money from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will remain in place.

Friday, a spokesperson from the Gates Foundation said it will continue to support the students, teachers of Memphis even if both Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools merge.  The funding for the $90 million grant to improve teacher effectiveness will remain in place.

"I think it shows the commitment of the Gates Foundation to the children of this area, regardless of who is administering this school system," Memphis City Council Chairman Myron Lowery said.

According to a statement released by the Gates Foundation's Vicki Phillips, "Dr. Kriner Cash and his team have our deep appreciation for their "student first" approach and our strong confidence in their continued leadership. The teachers of Memphis have our deep respect for their commitment to the Teacher Effectiveness Initiative and the students of Memphis. The decision to surrender the charter does not change that."

The Gates Foundation's statement added that, if approved by Memphis voters, school consolidation will be a challenging process.

"The City Council actually has the power to dissolve the school system with our vote," Lowery said. "But we are in favor of the referendum. We want the citizens voices to be heard on this issue."

The Gates Foundation's statement says the group is confident that, regardless of what is ultimately decided by Memphians, the board and leadership of Memphis City Schools will continue to put students and teachers first.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved

Powered by Frankly