ASD cuts cause parents to be concerned, remove children from schools

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Parents expressed their concerns over cuts in the Achievement School District Friday evening.

Parents are concerned about what kind of impact the cuts will have on their children's education. Some said they felt they should have known more about the layoffs before this week, when the cuts were announced.

The announcement has caused some parents, such as Marquita Finney, to pull their children out of ASD schools. Finney is taking her four children out of Whitney Achievement Elementary School.

"When it comes to our children, we need to be at the table when it comes to our children," Finney said.

Whitney Achievement is just one of the many schools impacted by layoffs at ASD.

Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said Thursday "to ensure long-term success, we are making a transition to streamline the central office staff." That 'streamline' means 16 central office positions are disappearing and 13 school level positions are vanishing.

"When the Achievement School District came to this community they promised us what they were going to do for our children and they are failing us right now," Finney said.

Parents said they have seen improvements in the ASD schools, but fear those gains will fade when staff members leave.

One of those staff members leaving is executive director Tim Ware. Ware's executive director position has been eliminated. But, he said he is optimistic about the work ASD is doing and is proud to see parents demanding action for their children.

"We can't have mediocrity when it comes to our children," Teresena Wright, LIFT, said.

ASD officials announced that employees impacted by the layoff will be able to re-apply for other positions.

As for the parents, they plan on possibly going to the state capitol to voice their concerns.

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