Germantown group rallies for municipal school district - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Germantown group rallies for municipal school district

(WMC-TV) - As the clock ticks for Memphis and Shelby County Schools to merge, suburban communities are also racing against time to form their own school districts.

Sunday afternoon, parents of Germantown students organized a march in support of a municipal school district.

My Germantown Schools, a Facebook group with about 1,400 members, held a rally in the Germantown Performing Arts Center parking lot, followed by a march down Germantown Road to the Municipal Center.

"I think people flocked to the Facebook page in order to have a place to have a voice in the education of their children," said participant Natalie Williams.

The group wore t-shirts and carried campaign signs to get out the vote on a referendum that no one is sure will even be held.

"To show our support for a smaller school district, control of our own money, tax money that the state gives us for our students," said Williams.  "We want more say-so in how our schools are run."

Germantown, Bartlett, Arlington, Collierville, and Lakeland were supposed to hold the referendums in May.  Those plans were stalled earlier this week when State Attorney General Robert Cooper issued an opinion that the outlying cities could not take any steps on forming school districts, including the referendums, until the unified school system opened in August of 2013.

That led the Shelby County Election Commission to deny the suburbs' requests to hold May 10 referendums, but members of My Germantown Schools said that is not stopping them.

"We have an opportunity to create a school district in Germantown that's small enough to be responsive to the students and parents it serves," said Ken Hoover with My Germantown Schools.  "We're going to continue to do whatever is necessary to take advantage of that opportunity."

The group said it will continue to rally for their own district no matter what hurdles they may face in the near future.

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