MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Dozens of Shelby County parents and leaders pleaded with County Commissioners to give up the Federal lawsuit against municipal school districts.
Hundreds of teachers will lose their jobs and classes will be cut if the merger of the City and County Schools continues. While the lawsuit is tied up in Federal Court, there were dozens of people in the lobby of the County building asking commissioners to drop the suit and allow municipalities to begin working on their school districts.
Germantown resident, Dick Vosburg, along with dozens of concerned parents, grandparents and suburban City leaders plead with the Shelby County Commission to drop their ongoing federal lawsuit that would prevent municipalities from forming their own school districts. "I believe smaller is better, local control matters," Vosburg says, "We can have an excellent school system for the entire county if we can get past this foolishness of trying to lump everything together."
The rally comes one week after the Memphis City and Shelby County consolidated board released its budget overview, one that would cut more than 300 teachers and another 140 school jobs from the old Shelby County Schools. Carr Kelsey, with Citizens of Collierville, says this is a blow to the entire district, "Instead of going world class, we've now gone to second rate."
Tuesday a revised budget is expected to reduce cuts to 377 suburban personnel. Ken Hoover with My Germantown Schools, says it isn't enough, "Going from 440 to 370 is like telling me I'm not going to cut (your arm) off right below the shoulder, I'm going to give you almost to the elbow. It's still a crippling blow to the delivery of education."
Hoover says, the County can prevent the cuts, by dropping its suit and allowing the municipalities to move forward with their own districts. Commissioner Sidney Chism, is a vote they won't get, "How would I, or any other commissioner, say to the voting public, that we are not going to abide by the law of the constitution as it were written."
The suburbs will be part of the Unified School District when the new school year begins this Summer. Dropping the lawsuit would allow them to create their own districts beginning in the 2014-2015 school year.