Final push for votes begins as charter surrender vote approaches

By Jason Miles - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A rally started the final push for votes with the historic Memphis City Schools charter surrender vote only days away.

Reverend Kenneth Whalum, Jr. pastors New Olivet Baptist Church, where a "Vote No" rally was held Friday night.

Memphis City School Board member Sara Lewis took to the pulpit too.

"I'm Sara, and I make no apologies for what I do or what I say," she said.  "There is no way in... that I am going to vote to surrender Memphis City Schools."

Board member Jeff Warren also address the crowd of supporters.

"We will lose $78 million a year from Memphis City Council and government," said Warren.  "That's a billion dollars over the next 12 years."

Teachers and local AFSCME union members were among those filling up about half the sanctuary, but they were committed to convincing others to take their side along with the board members who spoke.

"They're going to tell you all kinds of amorphous things," said Lewis.  "But if you can't take it to the bank, don't buy it."

A group of 23 ministers in favor of the MCS charter surrender were among others that met Friday.

A rally for those also in favor of surrendering the charter took place Saturday.  The group "Citizens for Progress" marched from the main library to the parking lot of the Memphis City Schools administration building.

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