Parents are drawing the line on the school consolidation plan

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton proposed new district lines in his plans to consolidate Memphis and Shelby County Schools. But many Mid-South parents are drawing the line at that plan. The main problem parents seem to have with the plan is they weren't consulted first. They say they find it hard to buy into a proposition that leaves them out of the loop.

When Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton announced his plan to merge city and county schools and shake up leadership, it left some in shock, for others it was old hat. The plan proposes five school districts, each with its own Superintendent, all overseen by a nine member school board. Zorina Bowen, PTA President said, "It's too top heavy and taking a lot of things for granted that just don't exist." Bowen finds it hard to believe the new plan will save any dollars and can't believe key members of the education community were left out. "You haven't invited either school board, you haven't invited any parent groups. It's just this is my plan, that's it." City school parent Sophia Sharif couldn't agree more. Sharif said, "You just can't say 'I have a great idea' and act on it. There's no way you can get completely 100% positive results that way." The drawing of districts is raising questions among some. Each district draws students from very different areas. County School mom Ellen Wood doesn't see that as a problem, but she doesn't favor the plan either. Ellen Wood, county school parent said, "I have a feeling the kids would be fine, I really think the kids would learn to get along if the parents would stay out of it. I think the parents are going to wrangle a whole lot more than the kids are."

The whole discussion may be for not, as many never see the consolidation plan going any further. The county school PTA president said there really isn't even any discussion going on about the consolidation plan because they don't even consider it valid.