W.E.B. Du Bois charter schools closing, citing lack of ‘qualified teachers’

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Some Memphis parents are now having to decide where to send their children to school next year.

W.E.B. Du Bois charter school will close both of locations at the end of the school year.

In a letter released to parents Wednesday, officials at W.E.B Du Bois High School of Arts and Technology announced they will close at the end of the school year.

Du Bois High School of Leadership and Technology will also close at the end of the school year

Both schools are part of the charter school network of former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton.

The letter, signed by Herenton, cites a lack of qualified teachers as part of the reason for the closure.

"The market for securing the caliber of high school educators that meet these qualifications is very competitive and has made it increasingly challenging to compete as we would like."

Lemichael Wilson has three boys who attend Du Bois. Despite the initial shock, he said a part of him is glad the school is closing.

"My personal belief is that the school was doing a disservice to the student population," Wilson said.

According to a Shelby County Schools performance scorecard, the Du Bois High schools were already in jeopardy.

On a scale from 1 to 5, the high school of arts and technology ranked a 1.79.

The high school of leadership and public policy ranked 2.11 on categories including academic achievement, academic growth, college and career readiness and school climate.

Both were labeled as "need improvement."

"With that I thought maybe it would be ideal if the school had not maybe closing, definitely needed a restructuring," Wilson said.

Wilson and other parents are now tasked with figuring out where students go next.

WMC reached out to Herenton about the closure. He pointed to Shelby County Schools who said they'll work with the charter network to ensure parents are informed of the options next school year.

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