Tenn. legislature considers lifting municipal school ban - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Tenn. legislature considers lifting municipal school ban

Leaders in both the Tennessee Senate and House are expected to discuss legislation that would lift the ban on municipal school districts statewide by January of 2013. Leaders in both the Tennessee Senate and House are expected to discuss legislation that would lift the ban on municipal school districts statewide by January of 2013.

(WMC-TV) – It's been a busy week for state lawmakers in Nashville when it comes to reinventing education.

Leaders in both the senate and house are expected to discuss legislation that would lift the ban on municipal school districts statewide by January of 2013.

Collierville State Sen. Mark Norris filed the bill back in January.

"We're talking about allowing the citizens of these municipalities the right to vote," he said. "It's the same right that was afforded the citizens of Memphis when they decided they wanted to dissolve their special district."

The original 2011 Norris-Todd bill lifted the ban on new special or municipal districts, but only in Shelby County in August 2013.

The new legislation being discussed this week would lift the ban on municipal school districts statewide nine months earlier than January 2013.

"Municipal systems are pretty well geared much more effectively to provide education better than just a large system with 150,000 students."

Norris filed this bill back in January to give all sides more time to plan and prepare.

Last week, some two months after he submitted the bill, the Tennessee Attorney General gave his opinion and stated the ban on municipal school districts would not be lifted until after the school systems merge in August 2013 according to the current law.

"The members of that Transition Planning Commission need clarification on what the scope of their work is here," Norris said.

And he says that's the main reason he's pushing for passage of the latest bill which is expected to be heard later this week.

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