Teachers speak out about possible delay of school year - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Teachers speak out about possible delay of school year

(WMC-TV) - Memphis City Schools received $3 million from the City of Memphis Wednesday, but it was nowhere near the amount school leaders want in order to start the fall semester on time.

Some Memphis City Schools teachers spoke out about the decision to indefinitely delay the start of the 2011-2012 school year.

Most of the teachers did not wish to talk on camera, but one said she was organizing a rally in front of Memphis City Hall Thursday morning.

New parent orientation went on as scheduled Wednesday evening at Central High School.  Kaleigh Donnelly, who is also a Memphis City Schools teacher, was among those in attendance.

"I'm not worried, but I am concerned," said Donnelly.

Donnelly teaches special education.  She said most of her colleagues in the classroom are ready for summer break to end.

"We like what we do, it's our profession," she said.  "It's essential."

Donnelly said she understands the school board's nearly unanimous decision Tuesday to indefinitely delay the start of the school year unless the City of Memphis pays the $55 million in cash previously promised to the district.

"The schools have to be funded, it's the most essential thing," said Donnelly.  "I think most of us, when we pay taxes, are thinking about the schools."

However, Donnelly said she believes the children will be most at risk if the school year is indeed delayed.

"Our children need all the time they can get to prepare for TCAP," she said.  "We don't get to change the dates of the TCAP if we change dates of the school year, and every day of instruction is essential for the children."

Donnelly and other teachers had the idea to rally Memphis City Schools stakeholders in front of city hall in order to send a message.

"They're ready to start school, see friends," said Donnelly.  "They're ready to learn."

Donnelly said the rally will begin at 7:30 a.m. Thursday in front of Memphis City Hall.

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