Memphis City Council Poised to Force School Merger

On February 3, 2011, in News 2011, by Mark Norris

MyFoxMemphis.com
February 3, 2011

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Memphis City Council decided to delay action on the consolidation of the schools Thursday night after assurances that Governor Haslam won’t sign any bill without the city’s input.

Some on the council think there is still time to negotiate with Senator Mark Norris, whose bill is swiftly moving through the state legislature.

Norris’ bill does not include allowing Shelby County residents to vote on the school merger, as it did initially. Some on the council are taking that as a good sign that other concessions can be made.

Council members want the transition period on the merger to be less than three years and to have more Memphis input on the transition.

Councilman Harold Collins said although he voted in favor of delaying the action, he still does not trust the Republican state leaders from Shelby County.

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression and I believe the actions of the General Assembly when all this came to pass, demonstrated to me, who they are, and what they’re about,” he said.

Norris’ bill is expected to pass Monday, but Mayor A C Wharton said the governor has vowed not to sign it into law until the city council has a chance to take action if necessary.

The council will meet next Thursday to consider voting to force consolidation. If the council votes yes, there will still be a referendum and a judge will decide which route stands up in a court of law.

 

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