Board votes to surrender Memphis City Schools charter - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Board votes to surrender Memphis City Schools charter

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - In a meeting that lasted more than five hours, the Memphis City Schools board voted to surrender the school system's charter Monday night.

The resolution passed by a vote of five to four. Voting for surrender were commissioners Hart, Jones, Gatewood, Robinson, and Webb.  Voting against were commissioners Warren, Whalum, Williams, and Mallott.

The board needed five votes to put the charter surrender up for referendum. The measure will now go to Memphis voters, who will make the ultimate decision on whether or not to surrender the school system's charter.

Discussion among board members began in earnest after 8:00pm.  Before that, comments were made by a diverse group that included preachers, teachers, parents, and politicians, who spent the beginning of the meeting letting the board know their opinions, some very passionately.

Mayors Wharton and Luttrell were among those urging compromise.

The war of words began earlier this year when Shelby County Schools leaders began discussing the formation a special school district, which would sever ties with city schools.

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.

Check back for updates on this story.

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