Germantown residents examine possibility of creating city school - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Germantown residents examine possibility of creating city school district

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

GERMANTOWN, TN (WMC-TV) - The Memphis City Schools charter surrender fight has some Germantown citizens examining what it would take to create their own school district, and they may be willing to pay higher taxes to make it happen.

Germantown resident Ken Hoover isn't letting a narrow loss to Shelby County School Board Chairman David Pickler dampen his passion for school issues.  Now, he's honing in on the Memphis City Schools charter surrender, which could create a 150,000 student school district.

"If MCS surrenders their charter, that's what we'll have: A 150-thousand student school district," Hoover said Monday. "We'll need alternatives to that to effectively educate any of our children in Shelby County."

Hoover said residents came to him with the idea to start a Germantown Municipal School District.

"Enough people came to me asking that question that I said, 'Let's gauge the reaction in the City of Germantown.'  So I put up the Facebook group. I got 720 members in the first 22 hours," he said.

To Hoover, the page holds a telling survey.

"There are nearly 500 signatures on the survey of people saying, 'Yeah, I will pay higher property taxes in order to have local control over our schools,'" he said.

Still, Hoover residents have a number of questions, and the biggest hurdle is Tennessee's state ban on creating special school districts.

"Can you convince the State Legislature to change state law?  What does it take to acquire the actual facilities to operate a school district and the different municipal governments?  The leadership in Germantown is looking to get answers to those questions right now," Hoover said.

Residents in other cities, including Arlington, Bartlett and Collierville, also want to know what it would take to essentially swap places with city schools - to become their own special school districts.

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