First, thank you for voting to approve and support a municipal school district. As a parent of three children, I’m very excited by the opportunity we have to create something special here. I’m looking forward to August 2014, when we can officially open the doors to a reality that many have worked very hard toward over the past three years. Second, I’d like to address some issues that have been reported to me, but not that I’ve necessarily heard, and that is an issue unto itself. If you have questions or concerns, you should start with Dr. Roper or a member of the Board. Some individuals have raised an issue concerning the transparency with regards to dealings of the Board of Education and the hiring process (posting of positions) for school system Central Office employees. The simple answer is that all meetings of the Board are open to the public and all positions required to be posted have been. The Board sets policy, hires the superintendent and then empowers that person to do the job for which he or she was hired. There have been no violations of any policies adopted by the Board. We set a goal to open schools in August. Since the creation of new school districts has not been done in Tennessee in almost 30 years, there are many questions that had to and have still to be asked as we go down this road. There have also been many procedural issues we’ve had to work through with the City with regards to funding, administration, etc. The decisions made by the Board have been made with the best interests of the students in mind. Unfortunately, there is misinformation being spread by some Shelby County Schools’ officials and employees and various other officials about the projected enrollment for Millington Municipal Schools, the amount of money we have and will receive, and what we will be able to do. In truth, our early estimates exceed the numbers projected in various fiscal studies, which puts Millington Municipal Schools on a more solid footing to educate our children. Dr. Roper and his staff have been working long hours to lay the foundation for a school system of which we can all be proud, yet at every turn there are the naysayers, even among the citizens of Millington. If you have questions or concerns, feel free to call me or Dr. Roper. We are happy to give you information rather than speculation. The other members of the Board and I take our roles very seriously. As stated in our mission, we want to “provide a safe environment that allows teachers to maximize the educational experience for each child.” We know this is a trying time for everyone, fraught with fear and concern as we venture into the unknown. We know that many want us to fail and are actively working against us. However, we have faith in each other, in our superintendent, in our teachers, and most of all, in the children of Millington, that we can and will succeed. Now more than ever before it is time for us to unite as a community to ensure this goal is realized for the sake of our children. We thank you for your support.
Gregory L. Ritter
Chairman, Millington Board of Education