Cleveland Businessman Allan Jones Says Cleveland School Board Chair Dawn Robinson Should Step Down

Wednesday, January 26, 2022
Allan Jones
Allan Jones

Businessman, philanthropist, and Cleveland City School alumni Allan Jones announced Wednesday his “Allan Jones for Better Schools” initiative and said he is calling for the current board chair, Dawn Robinson, to step down.

 

Mr. Jones said, "In 2006 I was tasked with rebuilding the Cleveland High wrestling team. Today, the team is ranked number one in the state and has become an elite powerhouse. However, the Cleveland City School system is ranked in the lower 24 percentile of school systems in the State and only outperforms Meigs County locally according to schooldigger.com

 

“This is outrageous.

Our school system is a mess due to the failed leadership of Board Chair Dawn Robinson. The future of Cleveland depends on the success of our teachers and our students.

 

"I am not the only one who feels there needs to be a change with school board leadership.  In a recent poll of Cleveland City voters, over 79 percent of voters believed it is time for new leadership on the school board.

 

"I agree and I have a plan for new leadership on the school board and believe it is time for Chairman Dawn Robinson to step down and not seek re-election. In fact, when voters were asked 'Do you believe Dawn Robinson has performed her job well enough to deserve re-election or do you think it is time to give a new person a chance to do better?' 78 percent of voters polled said it was time for a new person while only 13 percent believe Dawn Robinson should be re-elected. In the same poll, over 80 percent of voters believe accomplished alumni are the missing link to lead Cleveland City Schools to one of the top systems in Tennessee. 

 

"Allan Jones for Better Schools seeks to recruit and support accomplished alumni to give back to their community and invest in the school system which set the foundation for their success."

 

Mr. Jones is a native of Cleveland. He left college at age 20 to help his father stabilize the family’s small business, the Credit Bureau of Cleveland. He purchased the business from his father in 1977 and developed it to become the largest credit bureau databases in the state. Mr. Jones sold the credit reporting side of the business to Equifax in 1988, although he retained the name and the company’s collection agency division. The sale to Equifax set a record for the highest price per file paid for a credit reporting business, he said. Mr.  Jones then built the collections company to be the largest in Tennessee with offices from Memphis to Atlanta. He sold the company in 1998.

 

Mr. Jones founded Check Into Cash in 1993 and grew it to include at one point 1,300 locations nationwide. In 2014, he stepped in to save Hardwick Clothes – America’s oldest tailor made clothing manufacturer. He rescued more than 200 jobs and lead the company back to profitability before selling it in 2019.

 

In 2011, Mr. Jones and Tennessee businessman Randy Boyd made history by starting Tennessee Achieves Scholarship program (also called the “College of Knowledge”) that provided full scholarships for every graduating senior from Cleveland High, Bradley Central High School and Walker Valley High. The program ended in 2015 after it was adopted statewide by Governor Bill Haslam and renamed “Tennessee Promise.” Today, millions of students across Tennessee have benefited from the program.

 

He said his Foundation has planted hundreds of trees on Cleveland streets and more than 300 on school campuses.  He has been called the largest individual supporter of high school wrestling in the United States and was the funder of the Jones Wrestling Center at Cleveland High School and was also the sole funder of the wrestling building at Bradley Central.  Mr. Jones is a lifelong fan of the Tennessee Volunteers and was the sole funder of the Allan Jones Aquatic Center on the University of Tennessee at Knoxville campus.

 

If you would like to join the Allan Jones for Better Schools initiative please contact Toby Pendergrass at tpendergrass@jonesmanagement.com.

 

“The issues facing our school system are the direct results of failed leadership of the current school board, not the teachers and principals who work tirelessly each day for our students.  I believe our children deserve better, our teachers deserve better, and our city deserves better,” said Mr. Jones.

 


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