Pickler still exploring options in MCS charter surrender fight - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Pickler still exploring options in MCS charter surrender fight

By Jamel Major - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The Memphis City Schools charter surrender fight is not over, the Shelby County school board's chairman said Thursday.

Now that the Shelby County Election Commission has set March 8, 2011 as the date for the MCS charter surrender referendum, Shelby County school board chairman David Pickler says system is preparing for the next step.

"We're in active communication with our attorneys," Pickler said Thursday. "We are in communication with all state legislators we're working with.  We have not closed the door for any sort of continued conversation with the Memphis City School Board."

Pickler expressed disappointment that Memphis City School Board members voted "NO" to a compromise from Shelby County Schools regarding the charter surrender.

"There were two options for the city school board to pursue in giving up their charter," he said. "One was a process involving both boards working together to address the hundreds and thousands of issues that exist, and we're concerned as to why, if we're concerned about education and doing the right thing for the children, why wasn't that effort pursued?"

Pickler said at this point there are still a lot of unknowns.

"Where the funding would be?  What will the impact be on federal funding?  What will the impact be on state funding?  What will the impact be on local funding?  So there are many different issues," he said.

He also believes that Memphis voters should note be the only ones who have a voice on the charter surrender referendum.

"If we are truly talking about unification, if we're truly talking about eliminating 'us versus them,' then why in the world do we not give voice to everyone who is a stakeholder in Shelby County?" he asked.

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