County Commission files lawsuit to block municipal school districts

(WMC-TV) - Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald said he is offended and angry about a lawsuit filed by Shelby County commissioners to block elections to create new municipal school districts, something Bartlett is trying to do in light of the unified school board.

"Our citizens want the right to vote," said McDonald. "They want the right to be heard and we will do the things necessary to defend ourselves in court and have that outcome because you are not backing down now."

Shelby County Commissioners feel they will be partially responsible for funding schools if the new districts happened.

"We're convinced that is going to be a more expensive proposition to have municipal school districts for the county," said Shelby County Commissioner Mike Ritz.

County Commissioner Chris Thomas was not in executive session when commissioners decided to file the lawsuit.

He said he is opposed to it.

"It doesn't make sense," Thomas said. "It's unfair. It's hypocritical. I'm very frustrated with that."

This lawsuit comes as the suburbs are working toward the August 2 vote which would give all six suburban cities a chance to decide if they wanted their own municipal school system.

The judge will make a decision on the county commission lawsuit quickly because the August 2 election is looming.

Not surprisingly the lawsuit has angered many people especially the language saying school districts would be in essence segregated.

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