Local 24 News political analyst & commentator Otis Sanford on SCS Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray

Local News

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Local 24 News political analyst and commentator Otis Sanford shares his point of view on Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray.

Now that the contract is signed, SCS Superintendent Joris Ray officially has one of the toughest jobs in Greater Memphis. He is now tasked with the awesome job of leading the state’s largest and most diverse school district.

The terms of his contract are a testament to the confidence that the school board has in Ray. He has a four-year deal that will pay him $250,000 annually. It’s the same salary that Ray’s predecessor Dorsey Hopson received in his final year as superintendent. And according to the education news web site Chalkbeat, it is the same amount that is paid to the superintendent of Metro Nashville’s school district.

The money aside, Ray enjoyed strong support from a host of teachers and administrators who successfully lobbied the school board to suspend a national search and make Ray the permanent superintendent. This despite protests from a parent group who opposed handing the job Ray without looking at other qualified candidates elsewhere.

But all of that is now history. And Ray deserves total community support as he takes on plenty of challenges. They include dealing with aging school buildings and possibly closing some underutilized schools. The district, with support from the city and county, is also investing more in pre-kindergarten. And there is always the need to improve academic performance.

Like I said, it’s one of the toughest jobs around, if not the toughest. And that’s my point of view.

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