Board member proposes municipal district alternative

Board Member Proposes Municipal District Alternative

(WMC-TV) - Longtime suburban school board member David Pickler was among the biggest proponents of municipal districts. However, he now believes it's time to deal in reality following a judge's ruling Tuesday that municipal districts are unconstitutional.

"I think suburban municipalities cannot feel comfortable that municipal districts will remain a viable option," said Pickler.

Pickler is now preaching an alternative known as a charter management organization.

"If the real objective is self determination, if the real objective is to have control of public education in their community, the charter management organization is available under the law and can accomplish what they're looking for," said Pickler.

Pickler said cities can partner with non-profits to form charter districts which would exist under the umbrella of the Shelby County school board yet operate independently.

"And the great benefit of that is that it would allow a structure to share services in areas such as transportation, nutrition, special education, buildings," said Pickler.

It may help both sides avoid continued costly litigation or special legislation.

"And most importantly, maybe we can get the focus back on educating the children of Memphis and Shelby County," said Pickler.

Several suburban mayors have already voiced support for exploring charter schools.

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