Resolution to create unified school board moves quickly - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Resolution to create unified school board moves quickly through commission

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A resolution to create an interim unified Memphis and Shelby County School Board of Commissioners is moving at warp speed through the Shelby County Commission.

Wednesday, commissioners met for the second reading of a resolution to appoint interim unified school board members.

"We're just trying to move quickly to make sure that Memphians have representation on any unified school board that may take place, if there is a yes vote on March 8th," Commissioner Steve Mulroy said.

But not everyone was happy.

"I think this is a bunch of money being spent for nothing," Commissioner Terry Roland said. "I think it's a bunch of posturing."

Roland believes the vote is futile because the state passed a law to form a planning commission to carry out the transition.  But Mulroy argues the state law follows a separate statute from the Memphis City Council's approval of the charter surrender.

Like every recent school merger vote on the commission, the opposition continues to be outnumbered.

"This county commission, there's 10 from inside the city limits, and three from outside," Roland said. "How can the people outside the city limits have a fair shot?"

The unified school board would keep the current seven county school board members, and add 20 new commissioners to represent Memphis.

Mulroy says current city school board members are eligible to apply, but not guaranteed seats on the new board.

"I have heard some county commissioners, those who are opposed to the school merger, say that under no circumstance would they vote for any of the sitting school board members," he said.

But once again, they could be outnumbered in that vote.

Wednesday's resolution easily passed its second hurdle, but still needs a third and final vote.

Commissioners also held a brief redistricting meeting Wednesday.  They are waiting for the census to come out next month to draw the lines of the unified school districts. Only then can they appoint commissioners to each district.

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