(WMC-TV) – Time is running out on the current session of the Tennessee legislature and several controversial bills are still being debated.
Lawmakers are still considering whether they will allow municipal school districts in suburban Shelby County towns.
State Sen. Mark Norris says the legislation which will allow suburbs to vote on municipal school districts this year is still very much alive.
"What is at issue now is the people's right to vote on whether they want to have neighborhood schools in their own communities," said Norris.
A conference committee will hammer out a piece of compromise legislation that would allow Shelby County suburbs to vote. If voters choose to allow municipal districts, the planning process for the new schools would begin this year.
"We believe the Transition Planning Commission and the citizens of Shelby County need to know who wants their own schools and who wants to be part of a larger system," said Norris.
Senators Norris, Dolores Gresham and Reginald Tate and Representatives Richard Montgomery, Gerald McCormick and Antonio Parkinson are the 6 members of the conference committee.
"It really boils down to the right of self determination and it's sort of a mirror image of what the City of Memphis went through when their citizens wanted the right to vote whether to dissolve," said Norris.
As it currently stands, the process to form municipal school districts cannot happen before August of 2013.