Education Association President wonders if Memphis, Shelby Co. - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Education Association President wonders if Memphis, Shelby Co. schools merger will stick

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(WMC-TV) - One of Memphis' top education leaders wonders if a Memphis and Shelby County schools merger will stick.

Amid the court battle to stop the attempted suburban exodus from the school merger, the Memphis Education Association President wonders if this two-year fight is all in vain.

"I just don't know if at the end of the day, will all of this come full circle and we'll be back at square one?" said Memphis Education Association President Keith Williams. 

Williams questions if the November 2010 Memphis schools charter surrender was futile.

"Will we really be able to pull this off August 13?  Will we really have a combined, truly combined, school system?" said Williams. 

Williams has his eye on the federal court battle to stop the suburbs from forming their own schools to avert the merger.

If the suburbs are successful, he's concerned the long, hard battle that opened old wounds would only change the school systems in name.

"I do know we are planning to have a consolidated school system next year.  The two associations are even in the process of combining," said Williams.

While the judge voided a suburban effort to start their own schools in 2013, he did not rule on the part of the lawsuit to stop it in 2014.

"Which actually gives them the right to become, in 2014, municipal school districts," he said. 

Municipal schools mean financial and operational autonomy for the suburbs.

"But I believe at the end of the day, we will all be okay," said Williams. 

The suburbs are aggressively trying to convert to state or municipal charter schools in 2013, until they can form the autonomous municipal schools.

Memphis, TN

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