MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Two days bring two different messages from the state legislature concerning Shelby County suburban schools.
The House of Representatives voted against a plan which would allow people in Collierville, Germantown and other cities to vote on whether they want the cities and towns to be in the education business. The vote comes one day after a House committee voted to allow the towns to run their own systems.
Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald said of the committee vote, "It was a real watershed moment in the process because now moving forward we feel like the support is there. There was some question as to what format it would be."
Legislators were worried that if they made the bill just for Shelby County, the courts would rule against it. So the legislators changed the bill saying there could be municipal schools in any county where a merger has taken place.
Of course the only county where that's happening is Shelby County.
"We have to get it passed and the governor needs to sign it, so I'm not going to get ahead of myself," McDonald said.
The legislature really didn't do anything. A federal judge already ruled that cities and towns couldn't deal with starting their own systems until after the August 2013 Memphis merger.
The hopes were suburbs would have their own schools up and running by then. But, surburbanites will more than likely have to deal with the merged school system for at least one year.
McDonald stated, "I think the probability of some legal action coming up at some point will probably push us to the following year."
Mayor McDonald said there's a good chance the entire issue might be approved next week, and then it goes to the governor.