Memphis voters opt for merger with county school system

March 9, 2011
105,000-student city district would be combined with Shelby County system

FromThe Memphis Commercial Appeal: Voters in Memphis, Tenn., have approved a referendum to consolidate the city school system with the Shelby County district. Memphis school officials decided to pursue this path after it appeared that the Shelby County system would seek special-district status and gain a financial advantage of the neighboring Memphis system. The Memphis district serves about 105,000 students, and the Shelby County district serves about 48,000. In anticipation of a merger, the state legislature has passed a law calling for a planning commission to guide the consolidation; it aims for a full merger of the school systems by 2013.
ALSO: The vote is likely to set off a new round of court challenges, in addition to lawsuits that have already been filed.

FEBRUARY 2011...from The Memphis Commercial Appeal: The Tennessee Senate Education Committee has endorsed proposed legislation that would effectively delay merger of Memphis and Shelby County school systems to the start of the 2013-14 school year, if Memphis voters approve a March 8 referendum. The bill would require 2 1/2 years of planning for a merger before a consolidation of the two school system would go into effect.

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