Shelby Co. Schools proposal could keep MCS from surrendering - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Shelby Co. Schools proposal could keep MCS from surrendering charter

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By Jamel Major - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A proposal by Shelby County Schools leaders Thursday could quiet talks of Memphis City Schools surrendering its charter.

At a business meeting, Shelby County School Board Chairman David Pickler presented a resolution asking board members to agree not to pursue special school district legislation if city school leaders are willing to negotiate.

"We're presenting a resolution we believe will sew the seeds for unity between the two school systems," said Pickler.

The board unanimously approved it.

"The Shelby County Board of Education will not seek special school district status prior to December 31, 2013," said Pickler.

If county schools become a special school district, city schools could lose money.  Memphis city property taxes could also increase by as much as 55 cents.

If city schools surrender their charter, the county would take in both school systems and taxes could increase for county residents.

"We don't feel like all options have been explored," said Shelby County Schools Superintendent John Aitken.  "There are options coming from a study and discussion with Dr. Cash and staff members, options out there, and we feel we can come to the table and come up with an amicable resolution."

Memphis area ministers also gathered to pray for leaders of the Memphis City Schools and Shelby County School districts as they continue their debate over a special school district.

"We are kindly asking them to not vote in support of surrendering the charter," said SCLC President Dwight Montgomery.  "If they're voting for that, it'll be against the will of our pastors and our parishioners."

Memphis City School Board President Freda Williams said MCS does not plan to work with Shelby County Schools on this resolution.  MCS will discuss it at a meeting on Monday.

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