Parents Still Skeptical About Unified School District

Parents Still Skeptical About Unified School District

As the suburbs handle their business, parents remain skeptical of the new Unified School District, especially the schools in the low income neighborhoods.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - As the suburbs handle their business, parents remain skeptical of the new Unified School District, especially the schools in the low income neighborhoods.

Some parents say don't know if the district will be ready for the first day of school come August. The district says they're hiring nothing but the best teachers for the new school year, but many parents are still opting out.

Some parents say they don't want to risk sending their kids to the Unified School District and others say they have no choice but to send their kids there because it's close to home and they can't afford private schools.

South Memphis mother, Katie Hammonm and her best friend, Ranichia Edwards, are split about public schools. They're both products of the Memphis City School system. Edwards is an advocate for public education.

"With public schools they get the opportunity to mingle with other kids because in the real world you are not by yourself," said Edwards.

Hammon on the other hand, doesn't believe in public schools.

"I went to a city school not too long ago and they're crappy," she said. "You had good teachers and you had teachers who didn't care. There was more teachers that didn't care, 'Do your work, do whatever, be quiet, don't cause problems and you pass.' So no, my kids will not be going to a public school."

That's the misconception school leaders hope to change.

"What we want to communicate to parents is that we have not lost our focus on serving these children," said the Principal at Rozelle Elementary School, Carl Johnson, Jr.

School is just a few weeks away and Johnson says they are ready to improve grades as the new Unified School District.

"We didn't interview anyone who had less than above average evaluations," said Johnson. The Unified School District is nearly done with hiring old and new staff members.

Ranichia Edwards' younger brother will be attending Rozelle in the fall. It's close to home and he has no other choice.

"We can't afford private schools or home schooling," said Edwards.

While Katie Hammon lost her faith in the public education system.

"My kids will be going to a Catholic school. There's a lot of stuff that will be different, not only schooling but the academics, all of it, sports, everything," she said. "It's private and I know they'll do better."

Rozelle Elementary School is considered an optional school. There are almost 50 optional schools in the Unified School District. Each school focuses on different subjects, Rozelle for example emphasizes on creative and performing arts. The first day of school is August 5th.
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