Possible compromise in school charter debate could delay vote - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Possible compromise in school charter debate could delay vote

By Jason Miles - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The Memphis City School charter surrender is perhaps the biggest issue to arise since former sheriff Mark Luttrell became Shelby County Mayor.

"If something can be resolved, I think we'll all be better for it," said Luttrell.

He may have been first to break news of a possible new deal between Memphis City and Shelby County schools designed not to rush consolidation.

"I had heard that there were some negotiations that were going on," said Luttrell.

The negotiations are said to be among leaders from both school districts who may have already outlined a compromise.

"I think anytime we can get our school boards working together on a very problematic issue, then that's what we want," said Luttrell.

The new compromise reportedly calls for both districts to stand down for at least one year.  A county-wide referendum would then take place which allows more time to work on a transition plan.

"I think if it's taken off the table it would undermine the voters of Memphis right to decide whether or not this school system continues," said MCS Commissioner Martavius Jones.

The catch is that the compromise would require the Memphis school board to rescind its initial vote to surrender the charter.

Jones said that was something he did not foresee.

"It's anyone's guess," he admitted.  "But I still think that the board members who voted in favor of it still support leaving it in the hands of the voters of Memphis."

The city school board has a work session scheduled for Thursday night.  No meeting has been called to reconsider the charter surrender.

Meanwhile, proposed action by the state legislature was reportedly put on hold after word of a possible compromise.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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