Heads Continue to Clash Over MCS Charter

On January 11, 2011, in News 2011, by Mark Norris

January 11, 2011

Memphis, Tn – Since voting to surrender the Memphis City Schools Charter, legal opinions on a local and state level have a voter referendum in limbo.

Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville now has plans to propose legislation that some MCS Board Members don’t see as fair.

“It’s tantamount to changing the rules in the middle of the game,” said Board Member Martavius Jones.

Norris’ proposed bill seeks to include the input of voters living outside the Memphis City School District.

A right that’s not currently provided by existing state statutes according to the State Attorney General’s opinion issued Monday.

“We have abided by the law already on the books,” said Jones.

Norris calls MCS’ December vote to dissolve and merge with the County School district a “hostile takeover.”

He wants more time to study the process of a merger.

Memphis City Councilman Shea Flinn says he doesn’t have a problem with an orderly transition process.

But, due to the extra school tax that Memphians pay, he doesn’t think MCS needs the County’s permission to surrender it’s Charter.

“If Senator Norris or any other legislator in Nashville wants to treat Nashville as normal, I would point out that they didn’t need special legislation for Knoxville when it consolidated its school system. They didn’t need special legislation for Hamilton County, Chattanooga. Why is Memphis different?” asked Flinn.


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