MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Teachers for Memphis City Schools who live outside of Shelby County need to find a good real estate agent. They're soon going to have to move to Shelby County.
The County Commission Education Committee agreed to give Memphis teachers five years to move into the county, once the school systems merge. It's a residency requirement that promises to become a problem.
Shelby County school teachers must live in Shelby County. MCS teachers could live anywhere. Underline the word could because once both systems merge every teacher will eventually have to live in Shelby County.
"I agree with residence requirements but I don't believe in throwing a person under the bus when they had no input on whether they'd be merged or not," stated Shelby County Commissioner Sidney Chism.
Not fair? Maybe. When it came to merging school systems there are thousands who say the decision wasn't fair.
Originally, Commissioner Terry Roland was pushing for a plan that would give city school teachers a year to find a new home, but there was a compromise. Instead of one year, commissioners voted to give folks five years.
"I think this is a great compromise and I'm going to tell you something. I'm very proud of the commission today," Roland said. "I've never seen us come together and work as good as we worked today."
The church bells didn't ring and the fire trucks didn't turn on their sirens, but getting this group to agree on an issue involving merged schools is worthy of such celebration.
But the whole residency requirement now has others upset. The head of the Deputy Sheriff's Association, Dan Norwood, says his group wants to do away with the Shelby County residency requirement.
"The vote was nearly unanimous that they don't see any reason why we should abide by a residency policy."
The commission didn't take any action on the Deputy Sheriff's Association's request. They should have the teacher residency five-year plan finalized in about a month.