Commissioner: Municipal schools lawsuit 'dark cloud' over suburb - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Commissioner: Municipal schools lawsuit 'dark cloud' over suburban schools

Commissioner Chris Thomas proposed dropping the municipal schools lawsuit. He calls it a dark cloud over the future of suburban schools. Commissioner Chris Thomas proposed dropping the municipal schools lawsuit. He calls it a dark cloud over the future of suburban schools.

(WMC-TV) - If one Shelby County commissioner has his way, the commission will drop its longstanding municipal schools lawsuit.

Commissioner Chris Thomas proposed dropping the municipal schools lawsuit. He calls it a dark cloud over the future of suburban schools.

"I see the lawsuit is no longer vital," said Thomas.

Commissioner Thomas told this committee he intends to present a resolution to the full commission Monday to drop the municipal schools lawsuit against the county's six suburbs.

"Progress has been made in negotiations between the school board an municipalities, and my discussions with the school board and superintendent and the fact almost $7 million between everyone involved has happened," said Thomas.

Just one sticking point remains in the lawsuit; it originally accused the suburbs of starting their own school districts unconstitutionally to break away, when Memphis school merged with county schools.

The court as not yet resolved if separate school districts re-segregate the school system.

Commissioner James Harvey backed Thomas to drop the lawsuit, but commissioner Sidney Chism does not agree.

"It's crazy. It's not going away. The only reason we're here today in a negotiating posture is because we've got a lawsuit pending," said Chism.

Since Thomas did not submit his resolution for a committee vote, the discussion met an abrupt end. It is unclear how this will all play out in federal court.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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