Tuesday, December 2, 2008

While Nashville talks about cutting education, Memphis leaders prepare to increase help to kids

The tale of two Tennessee cities when it comes to the educational fates of children continues to widen as Memphis has closed a deal with Head Start to offer Pre-k instruction to 1,000 more young people in Bluff City.

Meanwhile, Nashville officials are wrangling over how to cut $11 million out of the current public school budget.

Reports the Memphis Commercial-Appeal: The city schools currently serve about 3,000 preschool children in classrooms created specifically for 3- and 4-year olds. But with some 40,000 children eligible for services, Supt. Kriner Cash said last summer when he was hired that there was room for great improvement and that he was surprised so few children were being served.

As shown by Sister Sandra Smithson and her sister Mary Craighead -- both Nashville educators -- Head Start can be used to teach children how to read and be prepared for achievement once they reach school. Now, Memphis is employing this strategy.

With the state of Tennessee facing what may well be a $1 billion deficit for the current budget year, any further funding for the state's pre-K program is not available. Memphis shows that help comes to those cities that learn to help themselves.

No comments: