Vote scheduled to delay school merger - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Vote scheduled to delay school merger

(WMC-TV) - There is a push to delay the merger of Memphis City and Shelby County Schools as Unified School Board members face a critical stalemate on how to merge. A vote is scheduled for Tuesday.

"It became absolutely necessary to delay the merger because there's nothing to merge," said Unified School Board member Kenneth Whalum, Jr.

Whalum said it became clear the Shelby County suburbs will form their own school systems to avert the merger with Memphis schools. This comes after the governor signed the bill to lift the ban on municipal schools.

The school board overwhelmingly agreed to put Whalum's resolution on Tuesday's agenda.

"It's just asking the judge, the only one who has the authority to delay it, to delay it," said Whalum.

When the school board could not agree on custodial and transportation services at the last meeting, the superintendent warned they could miss their August 5 deadline to merge.

"How can you come to an agreement on something that's insane?" said Whalum who was against the merger from the start.

Meanwhile, the suburbs scheduled an election July 16 for citizens to vote if they want their own schools, a referendum that passed previously, but the judge voided.

Earlier this year, an attempt by Commissioner Tomeka Hart to delay the merger failed.

"We should not continue this upheaval of people's lives and the socioeconomic fabric of Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee to make a point. What point are we making?" said Whalum.

The school board has a meeting Tuesday to discuss custodial and transportation services.

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