17 schools have closed since Shelby County Schools merger

17 schools have closed since Shelby County Schools merger

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Seventeen schools have closed in Shelby County since the municipalities split in 2013.

Eight schools closed during the changeover from Memphis City Schools to Shelby County Schools, and nine schools have closed in the two years since that change.

"We've been making some positive progress, but we have a lot of work to do and part of that work is going to include right sizing the district," Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson said.

There's a chance more schools could close in the coming years.

"We've closed schools now for four or five years in a row, and I think the piece that's always been missing is that meaningful community feedback and that's what we're trying to do," Hopson said.

Some of that feedback could get emotional and heated.

After it was announced Carver High School was set to close, supporters armed with signs and shirts shouted as they tried to persuade school leaders to keep open the school. In the end Carver closed, and now more schools could be on the chopping block this year.

"If you've got a school where the achievement is low, where the utilization is low,  where there is very high deferred maintenance, then those schools obviously will be up for consideration," Hopson said.

The district said school closure decisions are never taken lightly. Leaders also said the goal is to always put students in the position to have a better educational experience.

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