Chimneyrock Elementary begins final year as county school

As parents walked their children to Chimneyrock Elementary School Monday morning, they wondered how different the school will be one year from now.  That's when the school will come under city control.

"It's the fear of the unknown, not knowing the different policies, what way the school might be run, said parent Amy McDaniel.

The city of Memphis annexed most of the areas around the school several years ago, but agreed not to take over until all students registered at the school were in city limits.  That will happen next August.

McDaniel has first and third graders at Chimneyrock.  "A lot of our teachers have moved on and transferred and done different things," she said.  "The past couple of years have been a transition."
While some parents accepted the change, others moved out of the area because they do not agree with how the city operates its schools.

Shelby County School leaders say Chimneyrock is a perfect example of why school boundaries should not change, even if an area is annexed. and why they'll continue to push for the changing of Tennessee state legislation."

Shelby County Schools spokesperson Mike Tebbe said county school board members have been lobbying legislators, but their requests have not been granted.

"Local boards would have the option to become special school districts and set permanent boundaries," Tebbe said. "Then the extension of the city limits, wherever they go, would make no difference. You'd have set permanent boundaries."

Not everyone agrees with that proposal, and it has died in Nashville several times.  Still, district leaders are promising to try again.