Gov. Haslam visits Memphis to tour ASD school

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - In the midst of a funding crisis, one Memphis school played host to Governor Bill Haslam on Friday.

The governor was in town to tour Aspire Coleman Elementary, an Achievement School District location. He shared his optimism for the future of the program, despite recent news.

"I think ASD has a really critical role in what we are trying to do overall in education in Tennessee. I am very glad that we have the tool of ASD to help with our priority schools that need this solution," Haslam said.

Six years ago, the creation of ASD gave hope to schools that were underperforming. Thanks to a federal grant, ASD schools would take over schools in the bottom 5 percent of performance and turn them around to the top 25 percent.

However, recent budget cuts to the ASD program has parents worried.

Plus, some local lawmakers think ASD's structure is not the way to fix schools that are falling behind.

"Trust me. The governor knows about my concerns," Rep. Antonio Parkinson said. "Where these babies are growing up, they are not getting a second opportunity at this and they get further and further behind."

Haslam said changes to the ASD program won't alter the state's promise to improve the schools.

"We knew the world was going to change when the race to the top funding ran out. I think again, this is one of the steps that puts us on the path to here's how this will work," Haslam said.

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