Funding for adult education pulled at Messick

Funding for adult education pulled at Messick

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The Tennessee State Department of Labor and Workforce Development is ending its contract with Shelby County Schools to provide funding for adult education. The state said the reasons for funding being pulled are low performance, low graduation rates, and low enrollment.

A letter dated February 4 from the state notified SCS of the termination.

"The intent of this letter is to provide written notice to Shelby County Schools that the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development, Division of Adult Education has determined to terminate all contracts currently in existence between Shelby County Schools and the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development, Division of Adult Education, effective May 7, 2016."

Those who are currently enrolled in the program at Messick Adult Center for high school equivalency classes will be given the chance to finish their work at HopeWorks beginning Monday.

Although the arrangement at HopeWorks is thought to be only a interim solution, it will provide those currently in the program the opportunity to complete their classes.

Since no other programs at Messick were impacted by the canceled contract, it is not believed the other programs will be affected by the contract cancellation.

Shelby County was contracted to serve 75 percent of the county's population without a high school  diploma, which amounted to an estimated 70,000 people, according to U.S. Census Bureau numbers.

HopeWorks was to reach the remaining 25 percent of those without a high school diploma.

However, the state said Messick was not meeting those expectations and had only enrolled 882 adult education students in the month of January and from July through December of last year, they had only seen 24 individuals receive their diplomas.

The letter provided to SCS from the state department said in spite of the cancellation of the contract, the state would continue to ensure those without a high school diploma in Shelby County would have the opportunity to obtain it.

"Please be assured that the adult learners of Shelby County will continue to have services provided to them."

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