Parents losing 'choice' with Jubilee school closings

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After reading the article “Memphis Jubilee Catholic schools to close after 2018-2019 school year” I am left wondering, what is happening to the "choice" in school choice? An entire network of schools that are comprised of students, parents, staff, teachers, administration, and communities are now left to deal with the end of an era. I find it very interesting for this article to come out during National School Choice Week -- the week we set aside to celebrate the great strides we’ve made across this country in increasing the access to educational options for our students, specifically children of color and in poverty...

When things like this happen, I am reminded why I can’t give up on my own pursuit to provide an educational option to students in Memphis. School closures affect black children worse than any other group of students. It’s a known fact that they are the predominate student demographic in the Memphis Catholic Jubilee Network. They are, yet again, being put out. Shut out. Kept out. They will be forced to return to schools that may not be serving them as well as they should.

The bottom five percent of the schools in Memphis that are filled with students who lack the basic levels of reading or math skills still exist... We should be doing all that we can to ensure that as a state we offer as many educational options as possible to our students, especially to those who need them most. If it's a voucher system that will allow families to use their tax dollars to pay for a private education, so be it. It is high time that we put children first and stop thinking only about the adults. We should be ashamed as residents of this state that we have failed at providing high-quality educational options for our children. Closing the Memphis Catholic Jubilee Network is just one more indication that we have a long way to go before our children will be proficiently college- or career-ready.