UPDATED-Whalum asks for answers as board prepares for transition - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

UPDATED: Whalum resolution asks for exact count of MCS teen pregnancies

Dr. Kenneth Whalum Dr. Kenneth Whalum

By Jamel Major - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - As Memphis City School Board Commissioners prepare for the transition to a unified school board with Shelby County Schools, board member Kenneth Whalum says parents teachers and students deserve to know where things stand.

Monday night, Whalum introduced a resolution to bring closure to the post-surrender status of Memphis City Schools.  

"I did speak with Dr. Cash about it just to be sure it's doable, does it make sense.  He indicated it did make sense," Whalum said.

The resolution says Memphis City Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash would have until June 30th to submit the following information to district officials:

The first would be an itemized report of the Gates grant activity, fund acquisition, and expenditures.

"Including official documentation from the Gates foundation releasing MCS from its contractual obligations under the grant," Whalum said.

Board members were concerned.

"I'm concerned that we would be asked to be released from the Gates contract prematurely," commissioner Betty Mallott said.

Next, Cash would have to provide a detailed summary of suspensions and expulsions of students district wide for the 2009 to 2010 school year.

Cash would also have to release a comprehensive account of the number of pregnancies, or students who have had babies in Memphis City middle and high schools.

The resolution left Ricky Floyd, Pastor of the Pursuit of God Church in Frayser, wondering why.

"I think Whalum, because of his position and stance in the community, has a right to ask, but my question is, for what purpose?" Floyd asked.

School board commissioner Betty Mallott was skeptical, saying it would be difficult to tabulate the numbers Whalum wants.

"For us to know definitely how many pregnant students there are in MCS wouldn't be possible unless we violated the privacy rights of our students," board member Betty Mallott said.

For Floyd, solutions are more important than statistics.

"We've got enough information on what the problem is," he said. "Now we need to know what the answers are, and we need to find people who are committed to making the answers become a reality in our community."

Board members decided to postpone voting on Dr. Whalum's resolution until their next meeting.

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