MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The Shelby County Commission is back at it again. There had been a brief period of peace between members concerning the upcoming school merger, but war broke out again Wednesday morning.
The school board is supposed to drop to seven members in September. There are plenty who say that's a perfect number. But others say it needs to be bigger with maybe nine members, or eleven, or even thirteen.
"It's like, what are we doing?" asked Commissioner Chris Thomas.
That's a heck of a good question. What they're doing is talking about making the Unified School Board more representative of all of Shelby County. At least that's what those in favor of making the board bigger say. The board will drop from 23 members to seven in September, but some say it should be bigger, maybe make it thirteen, so school districts can be the same as county commission districts.
"I don't think right now is probably the best time to do it because there's so much that could completely change the complexion of what the school board is going to look like," advised Commissioner Heidi Shafer.
Here's what she's talking about. Down the road in Nashville, legislators will soon vote on a little piece of legislation that will allow municipalities to set up their own school systems. Shafer says why select board members for the districts in the suburbs, if the suburbs eventually end up getting their own school systems and their own boards.
While she was saying this, Commissioner Sidney Chism, who wants to expand the board, stood next to her quietly... at least for a while.
"It's a stall tactic. It has nothing to do with what's good for these kids and this community. Nothing," Chism stated.
"I disagree. I think that while Commissioner Chism can have his opinion and I respect it, I disagree," Shafer countered. "This is not a stall tactic. I think if you can wait a few days or a few weeks and have more information and save yourself from going through it twice, that just makes good sense."
Shafer, and others who agreed with her, lost. The entire commission will vote on expanding the school board on Monday.