Suburban mayor speaks on fight for Municipal Schools

Suburban mayor speaks on fight for Municipal Schools

(WMC-TV) – For the first time, Shelby County Suburban mayors, silenced under a gag order, are opening up about their fight for municipal school districts.

Any day now, a key ruling could come down. This comes after days of no compromise in mediation talks.

Keith McDonald, Mayor of Bartlett, spoke with Action News 5 about the major issue at hand.

And he says it all boils down to whether or not the election of a unified school board is constitutional before the school merger.

McDonald tells Action News 5 He hopes U.S. District Judge Samuel Hardy Mays rules that the election is constitutional.

Mediation talks allowing municipal schools ended this past Friday without an agreement.

Now, it is in a judge's hands.

McDonald and other mayors from Lakeland, Millington, Arlington, Germantown, and Collierville are ready to move forward with the issue of creating municipal school districts but have not been able to.

If the judge declares an election unconstitutional, McDonald says there will more than likely be an appeal to the 6th Circuit Court.

"We have whatever it takes," said Keith McDonald, Bartlett Mayor.  "We committed to this for the long run. If we don't get it by 2013, then we're looking at 2014 or whatever."

McDonald also says these proposed municipal school districts have to begin planning for district size, policy manuals, and decision about a superintendent, and the hiring of teachers - among other things.

He also says Judge Mays' ruling should come down early this week.

Action News 5 will continue to follow this story, and we will bring you that decision - once it is made.

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