Pickler wants to delay school merger until 2014 - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Pickler wants to delay school merger until 2014

(WMC-TV) - Transition Planning Commission (TPC) member David Pickler has proposed delaying the merger of Memphis City and Shelby County Schools by one year to 2014.

The clock is ticking for the TPC to merge city and county schools, and Pickler said they need more time.

"I don't think we are ready," said Pickler.

Pickler said suburban communities will have to decide whether to form their own municipal districts before they have a clear picture of what a unified school district will look like.

"They are not really being given the option to consider the work of the TPC will yield for them," said Pickler.

Pickler said he plans to propose delaying the merger for an additional year to give the TPC more time to refine their education strategy.

"There's a lot of unanswered questions about how do we deliver special education services, how do we deliver legal services, transportation, nutrition," he said.

Delaying the merger might require approval by the courts, the state legislature, or commissioner of education.

"At this point, I'm advocating all three," said Pickler.

Pickler said one additional year is a small price to pay for what will have such a tremendous impact in the future of the community and its students.

"This doesn't need to be urban versus suburban," said Pickler.

Pickler said he hopes that at the Shelby County Board of Education meeting Tuesday, the board will consider a revolution to ask a judge, the legislature, and the education commission for a one year merger extension.

The May 10 referendum will still take place to allow voters to decide whether suburbs should move forward with creating their own districts.

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