Parents flood suburban leaders with questions about possible sch - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Parents flood suburban leaders with questions about possible school districts

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(WMC-TV) - As Shelby County parents protest some of the unified school system's recent decisions, suburban mayors are sharing their strategy to start their own school systems.

Parents are waiting for the governor to sign the bill to lift the ban on municipal schools. In the meantime, suburban mayors are getting bombarded with questions from parents.

"We are going to do our very best, but we don't know what impediments will be put before us," said Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald.

As the unified schools' budget tightens, parents are hearing extra programs will be cancelled and teachers are being told their jobs are not guaranteed.

That has parents flooding suburban leaders with concerns.

The big question: When can the suburbs elect school boards and superintendents?

"All of the municipalities will do it at the same time so there's not confusion," answered Mayor McDonald.

Another burning question: What happens to attendance zones?

"We would honor the existing school zones, the existing attendance boundaries," said Collierville Mayor Stan Joyner.

Parents are also asking if school buildings will be available for suburban students.

The mayors say there is case law allowing the buildings to be transferred free.

"In that case, the judge ruled the buildings are held in trust for the children who attend those schools," said Mayor Joyner.

The mayors point out that annexed schools have transferred to Memphis without money passing hands.

The governor is expected to sign the municipal schools bill into law.

The mayors hope the judge will rule the school lawsuit moot at that point.

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