Shelby County Schools to ask commission to fund pre-K, capital needs

As Shelby County Schools prepares to finalize its 2014-15 budget, Superintendent Dorsey Hopson II said he may ask the commission to fund a portion of pre-kindergarten classes initially eliminated due to budget constraints, according to the Commercial Appeal.

Hopson said in an interview with The Commercial Appeal that he may make a recommendation to the board during its next meeting.

“When you have an obvious need that nobody can deny, it would make some sense,” Hopson said in the article.

Nearly 20 percent of the district’s budget is dedicated to improving students’ skills in kindergarten through third grade with a strong emphasis on improving student literacy, according to school officials.

It would cost $9.3 million to restore SCS’s pre-kindergarten offerings to 214 classes.

In addition to pre-K requests, SCS will also ask for $52 million in capital costs to build new schools and building repairs.

The county commission has $381 million in its budget for education for next school year. For the first time, it will be divided between Shelby County Schools and the six municipal districts – Bartlett, Germantown, Cordova, Millington, Lakeland and Collierville.