- There are nearly 150,000 children living in Shelby County. Memphis has a 70% poverty rate according to national statistics from Harvard University and other major national research organizations.
- The University of California at Berkeley has listed Memphis as the most economically segregated major city in America.
- Nearly 30 public schools from legacy MCS have been closed, while enrollment at corporate charter schools has risen to nearly 30,000 children.
- Vanderbilt University issued a report in 2015, saying corporate charter schools are no more effective than existing public schools. The Achievement School District or ASD has also had major issues with procedures and accountability.
Together, we can
All of our children, from Westwood to Arlington, and from Hickory Hill to Millington should have legitimate opportunities for a quality education and neighborhood resources that all citizens can agree our children should have. This includes libraries, summer employment, and transportation resources for students with jobs.
The Chism administration believes that most of our societal ills derive from being a county with a high poverty rate. The only long-term solution to the current high poverty and crime rate is an education system that cultivates in mass the innovators of the future. Our youth are the most important asset we have as a community. They are our future and we should invest in them so tomorrow’s children will live better lives. We want to set a goal and work toward every child within the Shelby County School System to be involved in an extracurricular activity. We want to help set up a foundation made up of an equitable share of stakeholders from our communities that works in conjunction with the county school system to make sure children have access to the hundreds of programs, summer camps, mentorships, internships, etc. already available in the Tri-State area.
We also want to improve our alternative schools because they are the last safety net to catch many kids who need extra attention. We want to form a military-style school that also provides mentoring and counseling for our children who need more structure to excel than the average student. Other focus areas include reviewing the current curriculum to see if it is a fit for our kids.