MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - There are new developments on the suburban school issue in Shelby County. It looks like there will be elections in Collierville, Germantown, Bartlett and other cities to operate their own school systems. The State Senate approved it, and Wednesday the House of Representatives is expected to do the same.
The Attorney General shot down the referendum votes a few weeks ago. After a lot of razzle dazzle by Shelby County Senator Mark Norris, he attached a plan to another bill which would allow people in the suburbs to vote. Now it looks like it's going to happen.
The old saying 'East is east and west is west' is kind of fitting. West is the city, hunkering down with a plan of unified schools dancing in its head. East is the land of the suburbs who say, 'Hey city, we don't feel like dancing with you.'
On the 'anything but' Unified School Board is David Pickler.
"We need to get every resident of Shelby County, suburban Shelby County or urban Shelby County, the opportunity to have the type of public education system that they want."
You see, as David Pickler looks at it, folks who live in Memphis have already had their say on the issue, voting to get rid of city schools and merge the systems. Now it's time for the people in the suburbs, he says.
If they understand running a school system will definitely mean a tax increase, if they understand all the work that must be done, if they get all of that, let them choose what they want when it comes to education.
"There's going to be a new reality for how public education delivers. It's going to be a challenge to determine how funding is delivered and there's going to be a lot of new administrative challenges in terms of this new organizational structure," Pickler said.
Even if the majority of suburbanites vote in favor of starting their own school systems, there is a good chance that starting in August of 2013, their children will have to attend schools in the merged school system.
Pickler added, "We need to make sure we have a plan to educate all the children, both urban and suburban."
The suburban mayors are taking this plan seriously. They are all in Nashville, lobbying legislators in their favor. The vote by the House is scheduled for Wednesday morning.