Shelby Co. Schools Board Chairman encourages solutions not involving court

Shelby Co. Schools Board Chairman encourages solutions not involving court
(WMC-TV) - Unified School District leaders said a lot has to be done to prepare for the upcoming school year as they get ready to welcome hundreds of thousands of students.

Tuesday's ruling from Judge Mays said the law allowing Suburban municipalities to create their own school systems violates the Tennessee Constitution.

"We've got to get to work and finish the 172 recommendations the Transition Planning Commission made for us to follow for the blueprint for the Unified System," said Shelby County Schools Board Chairman Billy Orgel. 
The Unified School District will also move forward with plans to welcome students from area suburbs who will all be part of one district in 2013 and 2014.

"For us we've got a task to put together a school system with 147 thousand children next year, beginning August," said Orgel.
Orgel says he's urging the unified board to sit down with representatives from suburban Shelby County to solve issues related to the children's education.

"We've got to deal with the outsourcing that's a potential for transportation in the county and the outsourcing of custodial in the city.  We got the school closures that's going to come up," said Orgel. 
While suburban leaders review other options for forming their own school systems including a possible appeal, legislative relief, and creating municipal charter schools - Orgel said he's encouraging solutions that don't involve going to court, or having a judge to make decisions.

"You've got a lot of responsible, intelligent people from across this community.  Many are elected officials that can sit down and work out a solution and I don't think it's responsible of us to continue spending taxpayer dollars," he said. 

Even with Judge Mays' decision, some suburban leaders said the fight is hardly over and they'll continue to push for municipal schools.

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