Memphis Voters to Weigh In on Merger Proposal
Memphis voters will go to the polls on Tuesday to decide if they want to cede control of the 105,000-student urban district to a much smaller neighboring suburban school system, a move that has caused political ripples throughout the state.
Unlike other school consolidations that have taken place across the country, and the state of Tennessee, this is not a friendly merger. The school board leader of Shelby County, the 47,000-student district that is the target of the consolidation proposal, has called the effort a “hostile surrender” that will lead to chaos for all students. Leaders in Memphis, however, say consolidating is the only way to ensure equitable school funding for city schools.
The Tennessee General Assembly has even stepped into the dispute, quickly passing a bill Feb. 11 that says if Memphis voters say yes to consolidation, merging the districts will happen no sooner than 2013. That’s assuming that dueling lawsuits don’t draw the...
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