Shelby County Delegation meets in Memphis in advance of votes - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Shelby County Delegation meets in Memphis in advance of votes

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - As they embark on upon a monumental vote that could decide the fate of the Memphis City Schools charter, the Shelby County Delegation held its meeting Tuesday in a unique location: the Memphis City Council's chambers.

Tennessee State Representative Beverly Marrero called for fellow delegation members to hold Tuesday's meeting in the company of the Memphis City Council, city and county school boards, and Shelby County commissioners.

In Nashville Wednesday, the State Education committee will vote on two bills that will impact if and how Memphis City Schools would be transferred to the county, in the event Memphis voters approve the school merger.

"It's going to be like jumping in front of a moving train, I'm afraid," Marrero said.

Marrero pointed out none of the Democratic state legislators could say what the bills in the state House and Senate would look like, because the bills are sponsored by their Republican counterparts.

Memphis City Council chairman Myron Lowery bashed Republican delegation members for not being present.  State Representative Jeannie Richardson then got acting Tennessee Education Commissioner Patrick Smith on the phone to ask him about a letter he sent to the city and county superintendents.
     
The letter demanded the superintendents submit a personnel plan to the state by February 15th.  Smith said in a news conference Tuesday that the state has the right to withhold funding if they don't comply.

"We need to know that on February 15th or March the 1st you're going to say your time is up, you're done," Richardson said.

Smith said that he would work with the delegation, whose members head to Nashville Wednesday for the Senate vote, and Thursday for the House vote.

Action News 5's Anna Marie Hartman will be in Nashville to follow this story as it continues to develop.  We will have LIVE reports from Nashville starting Wednesday on Action News 5 at 5.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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