Meet the stakeholders setting the ground rules for Memphis’ growing charter sector

Shelby County Schools is expected to expand its charter sector to 52 schools in 2017 — about a fourth of schools in Tennessee’s largest public district.

But the growth comes with tensions about how to balance resources among traditional and charter schools now that the role of charters is solidified in Memphis’ educational landscape.

This year, the district’s school board voted to develop a charter compact to set the ground rules and approved a 26-member advisory committee as part of that process. The developments coincided with confusion that erupted this spring over the district’s criteria and process for revoking charters.

The committee is charged with addressing accountability, funding, academic standards and facility needs. It’s comprised of teachers and students and representatives from the district and charter sector, as well as the community. Here are its members:

Appointed by charter sector:

  • Anthony Anderson, Memphis Business Academy, CEO
  • Tom Benton, Vision Preparatory, school director and founder
  • Charlise Clark, Freedom Preparatory Academy, chief financial officer (non-voting member)
  • Roblin Webb, Freedom Preparatory Academy, CEO
  • Felicia Hartsfield, Influence1 Foundation (sponsor of City University Schools), vice president and chief operating officer
  • Yetta Lewis, Gestalt Community Schools, chief academic officer
  • Luther Mercer, Tennessee Charter School Center, Memphis advocacy director
  • Brittany Monda, Memphis College Prep, interim executive director
  • Grant Monda, Aurora Collegiate Academy, head of school
  • Jammie Poole, Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering, executive director

Appointed by Superintendent Dorsey Hopson:

  • Rep. Raumesh Akbari, Tennessee General Assembly
  • Cerita Butler, Shelby County Schools, director of business operations
  • Lin Johnson, Shelby County Schools, chief financial officer
  • Brad Leon, Shelby County Schools, chief of strategy and performance management
  • Natalia Powers, Shelby County Schools, chief of communications
  • Heidi Ramirez, Shelby County Schools, chief of academics
  • Tikeila Rucker, teacher and president, United Education Association of Shelby County
  • Patricia Scarbrough, teacher and president, Memphis-Shelby County Education Association
  • Trinette Small, Shelby County Schools, chief of human resources

Appointed by school board:

  • Cynthia Allen, Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp.
  • Miska Clay Bibbs, school board member and executive director of TeachPlus (non-voting board liaison)
  • Jasmine Butler, 11th-grade student, Middle College High (non-voting member)
  • Ahzaih Ellington, 11th-grade student, Kirby High (non-voting member)
  • Rev. Noel Hutchinson, First Baptist Church Lauderdale
  • Patricia McNair, parent organization representative
  • Elliot Perry, Poplar Foundation
  • Shep Wilbun, Neighborhoods Running Neighborhoods

Update Sept. 1, 2016: This story has been updated with job titles for charter sector appointees.

Update Jan. 6, 2017: This story has been updated with new committee members Tikeila Rucker and Brittany Monda who replace Mike Whaley, founder and executive director of Memphis College Preparatory, and Kevin Malone principal at Bellevue Middle School. Charlise Clark was added as a non-voting member.