Shelby County Mayor Luttrell Supports Norris Bill

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

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell issued a statement giving his support of a State Senate bill that calls for a planning commission to be established to oversee the transition of Memphis and Shelby County Schools should they merge.

Senate Bill 25, introduced by State Senator Mark Norris of Collierville, was passed Wednesday in Nashville by the Senate Education Committee by a 6 to 3 vote.

The bill calls for a three-year transition period if Memphis voters approve the merging of the two school systems at a March 8th referendum. That transition period would be overseen by a planning commission made up of 21 members.

According to Luttrell, he and the chairs of the Memphis City School Board and the Shelby County School Board would serve as Ex- Officio members and each shall appoint five citizens to serve on the planning commission. The other three members would be jointly appointed by the Governor, the Speaker of the Senate and the Speaker of the House.

The commission would prioritize the many issues that would affect students and employees of the two school systems. Once completed, the commission’s recommendations would be submitted to the Tennessee Department of Education for review.

Luttrell said he intends to talk with Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, the suburban municipal mayors, and the Shelby County Commission concerning possible appointments should the bill pass.

“I commend Senator Norris for his leadership on this issue. I would hope the committee’s work would be completed sooner than three years. However, as indicated in early January, I think it is absolutely critical that a clear and legal transition process take place,” Luttrell stated. “While this measure won’t stop the planned referendum, it will help ensure the needs of all public school children in Shelby County are met.”

Senate Bill 25 will be taken up for discussion Thursday by the Tennessee House of Representatives Education Subcommittee. The bill is then slated to go before the House floor for a full vote.


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