Laura Testino

Laura Testino

Reporter, Chalkbeat Tennessee

Laura Testino is a Chalkbeat Tennessee reporter based in Memphis, her home since 2019. Her love for the city grew through prior reporting experience covering education and general news for The Commercial Appeal newspaper. While a journalism and dance student at The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa piqued her interest in the ways education systems shape communities. A stint covering arts and culture in New Orleans at The Times-Picayune only made her more fond of Southern cities, and interested in the equity of their school systems. When she isn’t out reporting, she’s probably at the park with Rita, her Alabama dog adopted in New York City.

A state lawmaker is giving the Memphis-Shelby County school board time to devise an improvement plan before pursuing legislation to empower Gov. Bill Lee to appoint up to six new members to the locally elected body.

The Tennessee State Board of Education approved the calculation during a meeting Friday, but some members said lawmakers should take another look at the law for struggling readers.

Memphis-Shelby County Schools board members chose Marie Feagins, ending the district’s first superintendent search in more than a decade.

Marie Feagins is the first outside leader to direct Tennessee’s largest school district since it was created through a merger a decade ago.

Rep. Mark White cites prolonged frustration with the board’s locally elected leadership

Memphis-Shelby County Schools board members’ selection meeting signals an end to the tortuous search for a successor to former Superintendent Joris Ray, and the possibility of the first outside leader in more than a decade.

Some Memphians say they will be listening for ways candidates may learn and lead in a new city.

Nearly 50 Memphis-Shelby County public schools would get new investments for their buildings or academic programming under a facility plan that district leaders are developing.