New life breathed into the municipal school districts fight - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

New life breathed into the municipal school districts fight

(WMC-TV) - There is new life in the fight for municipal schools in suburban towns.

The latest effort to create municipal school districts in Shelby County is a proposal to lift the ban statewide, thanks to new bills filed in Nashville.

"I think we have a good chance, but it all depends on how we move forward with the way the legislation is written," said Germantown Representative Mark White.

White filed some of the legislation in the Tennessee House and he also chairs the House Education Committee.

"I started my career out as a teacher and former principal and went into small business and I am very concerned about economic development for our community and I think anytime you stabilize your school system and you raise the bar for your school system, that creates opportunities for the small businesses and the economic development to move in," said White.

There has been a ban on new municipal school districts in the state since 1998. The main bill would lift it statewide, a second bill would increase the number of school districts in a county from six to seven, and a third bill would lift the 1982 ban of new special school districts statewide.

The group of five Shelby County Republicans sponsoring the bills in Nashville are Senator Mark Norris and Representative Curry Todd of Collierville, Representative Mark White of Germantown, Representative Ron Lollar, and Representative Jim Coley, both from Bartlett.

"I believe in bringing competition into the system. When you bring competition into a system, everybody works harder, I came out of small business and that's the way it works," said White.

If this passes it would not go into effect this upcoming school year. There are some hurdles to overcome among state lawmakers and that doesn't include legal hurdles in the Mid-South.

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