This article was written by a group of DCS Employees that asked to remain anonymous.
Tyler Perry could have based his new television show “The Haves and the Have Nots” on DeSoto County Schools. Henceforth in this article they will be referred to as The Haves (Lewisburg, Center Hill, DeSoto Central and Hernando) and the Have Nots (Southaven, Horn Lake, Olive Branch and Walls). There are special rules at the Central Office for these areas. The Haves can ask for anything and it will be granted. The Have Nots know better than to ask for anything. Recent developments at the Central Office prove this theory.
1. Overcrowding in the Southaven and Horn Lake area is apparent. Southaven Elementary was told they would add new classrooms this summer. They were passed over for additions to Hernando Elementary and Hernando Hills. Both of these schools have less students than Southaven Elementary.
2. New construction is always in the Haves area and there are many empty classrooms in these schools. The Have Nots use bookrooms, utility rooms, and trailers (Yes there are still trailers in DeSoto County Schools) The only solution for overcrowding in the Have Not area is redrawing the lines and forcing your child to go to a school in another Have Not area.
3. Pre-schools for disadvantaged students in the Have Not Area are desperately needed but are passed over for preschools that are designed for the Haves. A lot of them are funded in part with special education funds but the majority of the students in these programs are not sped students or disadvantaged in any way. In fact a large portion are children of DeSoto County School employees.
4. Many changes have been made regarding new placements for assistant principals. Most of these have occurred at the Have Not schools. None of these employees wanted to leave their current schools and the students and staff at these schools are devastated. You must understand that certain rules apply when moving personnel in DeSoto County Schools. Have Nots can only be transferred between Have not schools and Haves are only transferred between Have schools. Very few exceptions.
5. New teacher hires are assessed at the Central Office. If there are exceptional candidates they make phone calls to administrators of the Haves and give them first choice. Sometimes great candidates have student loans and need to work at a Have not school to pay these off. They are placed there for the time period it takes to pay off the loan then they can move to the Haves. There are many great teachers in the Have Not area but that is because the administrators at these schools have creative ways of finding them.
6. You may say, Thank God for the Federal government who realize that the Have Nots need more resources than the Haves and they attempt to close the gap by providing much needed resources for the Have Nots in the way of Title funds. Last year the Central Office figured out how to take this money from the Have Nots to distribute some of it to the Haves. This year they figured out a way to take even more. The Have Nots had their funds cut in half over the last two years. This is money needed desperately to fund their summer school and after school programs. The Have Nots can no longer provide these programs thanks to the Central office. At the rate they are going they will figure out how to take all of the money from these schools.
The Central Office expect the parents of the Have Not areas to not question the School Board and as long as they do not question them this practice will continue. The future of your children depend on your involvement.
1. Demand to see the budgets for the Title I schools. Compare how the budgets have dwindled over the past 3 years.
2. Demand to know why they are moving the personnel from your schools.
3. If pre-schools are important enough for the Central Office to provide them for teacher’s children then it is vital for the children in depressed areas and you must demand them.
4. Demand buildings large enough to house the students in your area if they have the budget for other areas.
5. Demand equal opportunities for ALL students.