Hopson discusses inclement weather, school closings and budget - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Hopson discusses inclement weather, SCS school closings and budget

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson met with reporters Wednesday afternoon to discuss a wide variety of topics including whether the district will hold school Thursday.

SCS canceled classes Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday because of ice-covered roads, mostly in northern parts of Shelby County.  Hopson told reporters student safety is his first priority but he'll wait to make the decision until road conditions are evaluated again Wednesday evening.

MORE: Click here for Mid-South Closings

"I'll just tell you, I don't want to close schools," Hopson said of potentially having to close school a fourth day because of winter weather. "I know the board doesn't want to close schools. We have so many students that need to have as much instruction as possible and every day of lost instruction is a day that is not in the best interest of student achievement."

MORE: 11 SCS schools closed Thursday; all other SCS schools, district offices open
MORE: Shelby County Schools closed for 3rd straight day due to ice issues

Hopson said maintenance crews have been salting roads close to bus terminals and bulldozing ice off streets.  He also said he and the school board will discuss whether SCS will have to make up the days the district has lost because of inclement weather.  The district is on track to have its last day of school Friday, May 23.

The superintendent also discussed a number of other issues that have dominated headlines since the merger, including schools that will close their doors next school year. He described the whole process as "emotional" and said his staff and board members listened to the parents and community members who spoke up on behalf of the schools at several community meetings.

Hopson said combining schools seemed like the most appropriate way to move forward as the district focuses on improving student achievement. 

The next hot-button issue Hopson and his team will tackle is rezoning for next school year.  Under a proposed plan for 2014-15, thousands of students could transfer schools.  The district has a series of community meetings planned to hear feedback on the proposal, however the meetings set for this week were postponed because of weather.

The school board is scheduled to vote on rezoning later this month. 

MORE: SCS holds second rezoning schools proposal meeting

The board will also be focusing on setting a budget for next school year, which Hopson says could be $227 million less than last year's budget because of the municipal school districts forming. 

DOWNLOAD: View SCS Fiscal 2015 budget draft (March 4, 2014)

Hopson said several positions throughout the district could be lost because of the smaller budget, including more than 200 teaching positions.  Hopson said he hopes those numbers don't alarm teachers and other staff, as nothing is final. 

 

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