MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - What's in a name? That question is setting off the latest fight between members of the Unified School Board. They're debating what to call the merged Memphis and Shelby County schools, and you know nothing comes easy in this deal.
City schools and county schools share the same building with a sealed door separating them. So who knew that a school board member who voted to put Memphis City Schools out of business now wants to make sure Memphis is part of the new merged school name.
"It just seems like we keep rehashing the same things over and over," stated Unified School Board member Mike Wissman at Monday night's meeting. "I understand community engagement and all of that. I think the community is pretty engaged."
So a board that hasn't selected a superintendent for the new system, a board that doesn't have a clue what kind of budget it will be working with, a board that doesn't know whether the suburbs will be a part of the system for more than a year - that board spent a night discussing what to name the system.
"The one thing we can all agree on is that we're all Shelby Countians."
Board members argued the name issue, and plan on continuing to discuss what to do.
Memphis resident Justine Crews noted, "I don't think it has to do with the name per se. I'm there to get an education. As long as my kids or whoever are getting an education then that's all I think that matters."
Larry Stokes said it's a no-brainer. "You can call it Memphis-Shelby County school system, Shelby County-Memphis school system, Or either Shelby County, as long as its there," he said.
Here's what would have to happen. Shelby County Commissioners would meet. They'd have to put a resolution together and send it to the Shelby County legislative delegation. For local laws to be approved, the legislative delegation needs to approve something unanimously, and there's a fat chance of that happening.