MCS Board members discussing possible charter surrender - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MCS Board members spend hours discussing possible charter surrender

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By Lori Brown - bio | email | Facebook

Memphis, TN (WMC-TV)- Memphis City School Board Commissioners considered giving up their charter and forcing consolidation with Shelby County Schools Monday night.
The idea being called the "nuclear option" needs five votes to pass and appeared to have at least three.

The dramatic move would mean Memphis City Schools would cease to exist, yet the idea seemed to traction.

Martavius Jones proposed the idea for MCS to surrender its charter after Shelby County Schools began to pursue becoming a special district.  Jones said he is concerned if that happens the County will keep vital county tax dollars to themselves.

"If you separate the twins, the heart only goes to one or the other," Jones said. "It is my contention if you separate these schools ... the heart goes with Shelby County."

School Board Commissioner Tomeka Hart said she sees forcing consolidation of MCS and Shelby County Schools as the only option.

"I want to know how will our children be protected year five, year 10, year 15 when right now you have a tax base that's 50/50, but will probably be 40/60 before long," Hart said.

Commissioner Reverend Kenneth Whalum said he cannot believe Commissioners are seriously considering dissolving MCS.

"We were elected to educate our children," Whalum said. "We were not elected to block Shelby County Schools from creating a special district."

The School Board will vote on the issue one week from Monday.  If they do vote to surrender the charter, the issue would then be up to Memphis voters to approve or deny.

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