As Afrah Shmmakh quizzes her young, mostly English-speaking class on the Arabic alphabet, she offers praise for a correct response.
“Good job!” she says in accented English to one student enrolled in an Arabic course at Peace Ambassadors USA, an Islamic American community center in Nashville.
An immigrant from Yemen, Shmmakh finds small ways like this to practice her English vocabulary. She’s been here three years. Despite her efforts, she still doesn’t have a solid command of the language.
“Spotlight on Lifelong Learning” is a weekly look at some of the exciting public conversations upcoming around Memphis. Host Jonathan Judaken is the Spence L. Wilson Chair in the Humanities at Rhodes College.
With more than 300 square miles of infrastructure to support and thousands of employees to pay, the Memphis City budget is no minor piece of accounting.
This week on WKNO-TV's Behind the Headlines host Eric Barnes discusses Mayor Strickland's 2020 budget proposal with Memphis City Council Chairman Kemp Conrad, councilman Martavius Jones and City of Memphis CFO Shirley Ford, along with Daily Memphian reporter Bill Dries.
Conrad calls budget planning "a big operation." The mayor's proposal includes a 3 percent pay increase for police and firemen and a 1 percent raise for all other city employees.
Ford says that while the percentages sound low, the “3 percent raise equals to about $9 million and the 1 percent equals to about $1.5 million.”
Guests also discuss aspects of the budget they believe fall short. Jones says it only has a five-year predicted outlook, but there should be a 10-year outlook plan in order to prepare for the future. Jones also says the city lacks a growing revenue stream, which he would like to see.
Guests also talk about local taxes and the future of Memphis’ finances with regard to development and pension programs.
It's been a productive week for Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. With the presentation of his new budget to the city council, he proposed pay raises, greater funding for MATA, and initiatives to help people fix their homes.
One goal of the Memphis 3.0 plan was to locate anchor points in communities and figure out the best way to invest, develop and aid them.
That entails targeted development, resources and new policies to help those areas thrive. After identifying the anchor points and publishing a several-hundred-page draft of the plan, Memphis 3.0 has hit a couple of roadblocks and the plan is on pause.
This week, we check in on the status of three issues facing lawmakers in the Tennessee General Assembly. Medical marijuana, though gaining some traction, still hasn't got the votes needed to move forward this year.
A so-called "Heartbeat Bill," facing legal challenges in other states, has Tennessee legislators doubtful it will come to fruition. Others are backing a "trigger bill" which would ban abortion immediately if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
Finally, both the House and Senate have different ideas about school vouchers.