Shelby County Commission approves school merger agreement - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Shelby County Commission approves school merger agreement

At a specially-called meeting, Shelby County Commissioners on Monday approved a settlement agreement that oversees the merger of Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools. At a specially-called meeting, Shelby County Commissioners on Monday approved a settlement agreement that oversees the merger of Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools.

(WMC-TV) - At a specially-called meeting, Shelby County Commissioners on Monday approved a settlement agreement that oversees the merger of Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools.

"I understand why there are a lot of city of Memphis people supporting this, because there isn't much way to but up," Commissioner Chris Thomas said.

After a half-hour debate, Shelby County Commissioners approved Judge Samuel Mays' 10-point school merger settlement.

"This certainly isn't a perfect agreement, but like any compromise, you're certainly not going to make everybody happy," Commissioner Heidi Shafer said.

Commissioners Wyatt Bunker, Terry Roland and Chris Thomas were three no-votes.

"It's kind of like Custard's Last Stand," Roland said. "I'm sure Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse was proud of their unity when they had Custard surrounded."

The settlement officially merges the two school systems on October 1st. After Monday's commission meeting, the Memphis City Council is the only governing body left to approve the settlement.
    
"Try to out aside those fears because I think things are gonna work out," Commissioner Steve Mulroy said. "Like it's been said before, we have a chance to make history. Let's not shirk it."

County commissioners were also charged with the task of approving the new countywide school board map. That item passed swiftly, but the same three commissioners voted no.

Suburban students, currently divided into seven districts, will now have two school districts, while MCS' seven current districts will be redrawn into five districts.

If the attendance zones mirror the actual districts, students might not return to the school they currently attend, but if the maps are neighborhood-based, the new districts and attendance zones could crisscross.

Maps:

The settlement also calls for commissioners to lay out procedures to appoint seven interim countywide school board commissioners to represent the seven districts until the county election next August.

The commission opted to begin interviewing new candidates Tuesday, with commissioners Bunker, Roland and Thomas voting against the item.

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