Committee pushes pre-kindergarten for merged Shelby County (Tenn.) schools

June 26, 2012
Transition commission says system should spend an additional $3 million a year on program

From The Memphis Commercial Appeal: Universal pre-kindergarten is the No. 1 recommendation in the plan the Transition Planning Commission will present to the Shelby County (Tenn.) unified school board. It's also the most expensive item in the 180-page wish list of how the commission thinks the merged Memphis-Shelby County district should look; it would add roughly $3 million a year for five years to cover the 2,500 children who qualify for subsidized pre-kindergarten but don't get it.

EARLIER.... From The Memphis Commercial Appeal: After spending an estimated 400 hours in 150 meetings with 100 members of the Memphis City and Shelby County (Tenn.) Schools staffs, interacting with about 14,000 in community meetings and producing more than 10,000 pages of documents, members of the Transition Planning Commission believe they have an acceptable plan for merging the districts. Whether the unified school board and the state commissioner of education agree remains to be seen. But finishing the first draft of the transition plan last week was a satisfying experience that left commission members beaming with pride and hopeful the community will embrace their 200-plus-page plan. The heart of the plan, which will be presented to the board June 26 and to state Commissioner Kevin Huffman two days later, is its educational component calling for universal pre-kindergarten, doubling the number of advanced placement classes and other enhancements aimed at producing a "world-class" educational system.

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