Six new districts opened their doors to students in Shelby County, Tenn., this month, after prolonged legal wrangling by suburban municipalities that sought to split from the Shelby County district after its merger with the schools in Memphis.
The Shelby County school system, which includes the city of Memphis and the Achievement School District—made up of poor-performing schools that have been taken over by the state—remains.
The suburban separation was set in motion beginning in 2011, when, because of financial issues, the Memphis school board and then later city residents voted to merge the predominantly black district with the smaller, suburban, and predominantly white county district. The result was the creation of one of the largest districts in the country, with more than 140,000 students.
A version of this article appeared in the August 20, 2014 edition of Education Week as Memphis Area Starts Year With Six Breakaway Districts