Board members react to consolidation talk - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Ben Watson

Board members react to consolidation talk

After hearing Mayor Willie Herenton's latest proposal to consolidate Memphis City and Shelby County schools, some school board members see consolidation as a way to improve education.
"We're willing to take help from anywhere we can get it and if the mayor's got some ideas that can help I'm sure we are going to listen," school board member Dr. Jeff Warren said.

However, some county school board members took a different view.
"Education consolidation is absolutely a bad idea. It's been an issue that's been debated throughout this community for many, many years," David Pickler said.

Ron Lollar, another county school board member, is also against consolidating the school districts. He and Pickler oppose the Mayor's plan to get Tennessee's governor involved.

Herenton wants to change state laws to give city voters an edge in a consolidation vote.

"He's trying to go above the heads of the county's residents," Pickler said.

However some said what is important about the Mayor's plan is that it triggers debate.

"I don't care how painful it may be about what we need to do in this community to make sure we have a better school system," Hart said.

Warren agreed.

"It doesn't cost anything to talk go ahead and talk work it out you know," Warren said.

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