Board of Education overturns SCS decision, approves Green Dot sc - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Board of Education overturns SCS decision, approves Green Dot school

Shelby County School Board (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) Shelby County School Board (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

A decision made by the Shelby County School Board three months ago has now been overturned by the state board of education.

The Tennessee Board of Education has voted to allow a new charter school in Memphis, despite the Shelby County School Board voting against it.

But, the vote is not sitting well with some.

State Representative Antonio Parkinson said he took the vote to overturn the school board's decision not to have another Green Dot school personally. He said it is time for Shelby County to fight this decision.

"They are saying this is good for our children, but they wouldn't dare send their own children to these schools," Parkinson said.

The Shelby County School Board made the decision in July that they didn't want another Green Dot charter school in their district. However, that decision by the board was overturned on Friday by the state board of education.

The recommendation to overturn the district's decision came from Executive Director Sara Heyburn.

Heyburn said the decision was not in the best interest of the Shelby County students. However, local leaders disagree with Heyburn.

They said the students are Memphians and therefore, Memphians should be able to make the decision as to what is best for their children.

"The state has basically removed the voice of the people," Parkinson said.

Parkinson said the four schools run by Green Dot, Fairley High School, Hillcrest High School, Kirby Middle School, and Wooddale Middle School, have not been meeting the needs of the students. He said they have been underachieving for several years.

According to Parkinson, the underachievement of the schools is a reflection on Green Dot as a whole.

"Green Dot's performance is dismal," he said.

That is why he can't understand why the state would want more schools that are performing at such low achievement levels. 

Parkinson is not alone in his thoughts.

The Shelby County School district sent a statement regarding the state's decision that says they feel this vote sends a confusing message to parents and the community about the importance of school quality. 

Parkinson said it is time for Shelby County to send its own message by fighting back.

"I think they should file an injunction against the state and I think the people should keep their children out of Green Dot schools," Parkinson said.

Green Dot sent a statement that said "We look forward to working with the Tennessee State Board of Education and the Hickory Hill community to build a great high school option for our families."

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