In 2013, voters in Germantown, Tenn., decided to break away from the Shelby County school district and form a municipal school system. But when the city established its school district, the Shelby County board decided that three campuses in Germantown—Germantown High, Germantown Middle and Germantown Elementary—would remain in the Shelby County system.
Now, Germantown city and school officials are making a renewed attempt to buy those schools—dubbed "the three G's"— and make them part of the Germantown district.
The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports that Germantown has offered Shelby County $25 million to buy the three schools.
In a letter to Shelby County Superintendent Dorsey Hopson, the city's negotiating team said that growth of the Germantown system has already led the municipal district to consider construction of a new elementary school.
"However, our interest in obtaining Germantown Elementary School, Germantown Middle School and Germantown High School through an agreement with Shelby County Schools still remains a priority and is our desired course of action," the team said.
Germantown has asked for the county to respond by May 22.
Germantown has three public schools in its city that are not in its school district because of the merger of the Memphis and Shelby County school systems and the subsequent decision of Germantown and five other suburbs in Shelby County to withdraw from the newly merged county system and create their own municipal districts.
Germantown Mayor Mike Palazzolo says that the $25 million proposal is five times what the suburb offered the county a year ago for the elementary and middle school campuses.
A new school would cost about $27 million to build, Palazzolo says, and the city will move forward with construction plans if it can't reach a deal with the county district.
Germantown Superintendent Jason Manuel says the district needs to address crowding soon at the elementary school level and the city has to make spending decisions by June.
"In the event Shelby County Schools does not act on this proposal," the letter states, "the Germantown Board of Education and the city of Germantown will consider the matter closed with the clear understanding that there is no interest on the part of Shelby County Schools to sell or convey these three schools to the Germantown Municipal School District."