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Editorial Results (free)

1. Registration Could Reflect Suburban Relocation -

When Shelby County’s six new suburban school districts register students on Tuesday, July 29, some of those systems’ superintendents will watch for changes from the numbers of students who pre-registered in the new school systems less than a year ago.

2. Sales Tax Push Continues in City Debate -

The idea of a sales tax hike referendum in November to fund a restoration of cuts in city health care insurance benefits keeps rolling.

The Memphis chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference came out in favor of the citywide local option sales tax hike Tuesday, July 22, after a closed luncheon attended by leaders of municipal unions and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.

3. Mays Dismisses Unions' Claim Against City -

U.S. District Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays has dismissed a 3-year-old lawsuit filed by 13 labor unions representing city employees against the city of Memphis for the 4.6 percent pay cut all city employees took that year.

4. Ruling Sets School Board Membership at Nine -

No local elected body in Shelby County has changed as many times in as short a period of time as the Shelby County Schools board.

The federal court order Tuesday, March 11, by U.S. District Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays approving the restructure of the school board to a nine-member body effective Sept. 1 will mark the third change in the school board in three years when it takes effect following August school board elections.

5. Mays Approves 9-Member County Schools Board -

With two rulings in as many days, U.S. District Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays this week cleared his schedule of any pending matters in the reformation of public education in Shelby County.

Mays approved the restructuring of the Shelby County Schools board Tuesday, March 11, to a nine-member body with districts that include the city of Memphis and unincorporated Shelby County but not the six suburban towns and cities.

6. Court Dismissal Leaves Matter of School Board Restructuring -

UPDATE: U.S. District Judge Samuel "Hardy" Mays approved Tuesday, March 11, the Shelby County Commission's plan to restructure the Shelby County Schools board to a nine-member board with the August 2014 elections.

7. Mays Accepts Suburban Schools Settlements, Dismisses Related Court Claims -

The Memphis Federal Court judge overseeing the three-year old court case over the reformation of public schools in Shelby County has dismissed the last major claim of the case, all remaining claims still pending.

8. Mays Accepts Suburban Schools Settlement, Dismisses Related Court Claims -

The Memphis Federal Court judge overseeing the three-year old court case over the reformation of public schools in Shelby County has dismissed the last major claim of the case, all remaining claims still pending.

9. Election Commission Hopeful for School Board Ruling -

John Ryder, an attorney for the Shelby County Election Commission, capped a week of cryptic court filings in the case by quoting a line from “Macbeth” as he made the Election Commission’s point that Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays should rule soon.

10. Germantown School Board Reverses Tuition Requirement -

Less than a week after approving a tuition requirement for open enrollment of students who live outside Germantown, the Germantown Municipal Schools board reversed course.

In a special meeting, Friday, March 7, three of the five school board members voted to rescind the earlier open enrollment policy with the tuition requirement of $200 a year per student and replace it with an open enrollment policy without any tuition requirement.

11. Election Commission Urges School Board Ruling -

The Shelby County Election Commission isn’t taking a stand on the Shelby County Commission’s plan to convert the Shelby County Schools board to a nine-member body.

But the commission will file a brief urging U.S. District Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays to rule soon on the plan.

12. Mays Denies Status Conference in Schools Case -

U.S. District Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays has rejected a call by some of the parties in the school reformation case to hold a status conference.

Mays ruled Tuesday, March 4, that he found the request “without merit” and denied it in a written order that did not elaborate.

13. Election Commission Hears Ballot Challenges -

Shelby County Election Commissioners could complete the ballot for the May Shelby County primary elections Wednesday, March 5, by deciding on challenges to the residency of three candidates in the Democratic primaries.

14. Election Commission Urges School Board Ruling -

The Shelby County Election Commission isn’t taking a stand on the Shelby County Commission’s plan to convert the Shelby County Schools board to a nine-member body.

But the commission will file a brief urging U.S. District Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays to rule soon on the plan.

15. Election Commission Approves All But Three Names For May Primaries -

Shelby County Election Commissioners certified all but three names Thursday, Feb. 27, for the May county primary ballot and will meet March 5 to consider challenges to the residency of candidates Edith Ann Moore, M. Latroy Williams and E. Jefferson Jones.

16. School Board Restructuring Plan on Way to Mays -

Two months after all sides in the federal court case over the reformation of public education in Shelby County settled their remaining differences over the formation of suburban school districts, the judge in the case is about to review a new part of the three-year-old lawsuit.

17. Commission Approves Nine-District School Board -

Shelby County Commissioners approved Monday, Feb. 24, a restructuring of the Shelby County Schools board to nine districts that take in all of Memphis and all of the unincorporated areas of the county but not the six suburban towns and cities in Shelby County.

18. Commission Takes Up School Board Redistricting -

A majority of Shelby County Commissioners seems to agree that the Shelby County Schools board should be smaller than the 13 members it will become with the August school board elections if the commission takes no further action.

19. County Commission Delays Schools Redistricting -

With candidates in the August Shelby County Schools board elections already a month into their filing period, the Shelby County Commission delayed Wednesday, Feb. 5, any vote on changes in the number of seats on the school board as well as the district lines until its Feb. 24 meeting.

20. Editorial: Don’t Rush Setting New District Lines -

The Shelby County Commission is working on district lines for the Shelby County Schools board again.

For those who haven’t been keeping up, and even those who have, what was a 23-member school board as of October 2011 slimmed down to a seven-member school board last year.

21. Dismissal Request Filed in Schools Lawsuit -

All sides in the federal lawsuit over the reformation of public education in Shelby County have filed a motion in the Western District of Tennessee to dismiss the lawsuit.

The Jan. 14 filing is the next to last step in ending the lawsuit that began in February 2011 as a lawsuit by the Shelby County Board of Education over the plan to merge the county’s two public school districts.

22. Ritz Calls for Nine-Member School Board -

Two prospective candidates in the Shelby County Schools board races on the Aug. 7 ballot have already pulled qualifying petitions in two of the 13 races now on the ballot.

But they and others considering a bid for the school board might want to wait.

23. Ritz Calls for Nine-Member School Board -

Two prospective candidates in the Shelby County Schools board races on the Aug. 7 ballot have already pulled qualifying petitions in two of the 13 races now on the ballot.

But they and others considering a bid for the school board might want to wait.

24. Hats in the Ring -

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam will be seeking a second term as governor, and U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander will be running for re-election – both starting with the Aug. 7 statewide primaries that open for filing Friday, Jan. 3.

25. Last Deadline Passes in Schools Case -

Two days before Christmas, the nearly three-year-old federal court case that was a key part of the change in Shelby County public education passed what might be one of its final deadlines.

Dec. 23 was the deadline for the many sides in the multifaceted court case to get back to U.S. District Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays on what, if any, issues were left to be resolved by the court.

26. The Year That Was -

2013 brought plenty of unique and out-of-the-ordinary moments, as well as the launch of new events, businesses and civic ventures that collectively made the Memphis experience richer.

Much of it was covered in these pages, including in recent days a U.S. Supreme Court justice eliciting chuckles from and sharing his constitutional philosophy with an audience of Memphis lawyers.

27. Pay Raises, Germantown Schools Deal Top Commission Agenda -

Shelby County Commissioners won’t be voting on anything having to do with the proposed sale of AutoZone Park when they meet Monday, Dec. 16.

The resolution involving their piece of the original terms of financing for the ballpark in 1998 was pulled from the agenda of the last meeting of 2013 at the request of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. last week.

28. Leadership Selections Next for Suburban School Boards -

For five of the six municipal schools boards that began taking office this week, their only formal involvement in the talks that led to agreements on school buildings and ending the federal lawsuit that threatened to hold up their start dates was to approve the agreements already negotiated.

29. November 22-28: This week in Memphis history -

2012: U.S. District Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays ruled the six suburban towns and cities in Shelby County had to stop their movement toward suburban school districts, voiding the moves they had made to date toward the goal.

30. Old Schools Questions Resurface in Germantown -

The questions are ones Germantown leaders faced from the outset as they began weighing their options after the March 2011 Memphis referendum vote approving a merger of Shelby County’s two public school systems.

31. Election Day Arrives for Municipal School Boards -

Voters in Shelby County’s six suburban towns and cities go to the polls Thursday, Nov. 7, for the second time in a year to elect school boards for their respective municipal school districts.

32. Hopson Proposes Plan for Unincorporated Schools -

The Shelby County Schools system would continue to educate school age children in the unincorporated areas of Shelby County and operate the 14 schools in those areas as well as one in Lucy and the three schools in Germantown bearing that city’s name under a proposal presented Tuesday, Oct. 22, to the countywide school board by schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson.

33. Petties Appeals Prison Sentence -

After being moved from the Memphis Federal Correctional Institution to a high-security prison in Allenwood, Pa., this week, Memphis drug kingpin Craig Petties has appealed his nine life prison sentences.

34. Masson’s Role Just One Chapter in Merger -

Six months after he took on the assignment of special master to the Shelby County schools merger, Rick Masson’s job is over for U.S. District Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays.

“The transfer contemplated by the consent decree has been accomplished,” Mays wrote in his order Wednesday, Sept. 4. “The special master has performed his duties fairly and efficiently, and his duties have been completed.”

35. Political Season Heats Up With District 91 Deadline -

The political tide of late-in-the-year elections begins rolling Thursday, Aug. 29, with the candidate-filing deadline for state House District 91.

The filing deadline is noon Thursday, the day before early voting opens in the regularly scheduled municipal elections in Arlington and Lakeland.

36. Extension Granted in Schools Case Filings For 3-Way Settlement Talks -

Attorneys for the Shelby County Commission, leaders of the six suburban towns and cities in Shelby County and the countywide school board are negotiating “in good faith,” according to a Friday, Aug. 23, filing in the Memphis Federal Court case on suburban school districts.

37. Commission, Attorney Meet in Closed Session -

Shelby County Commissioners met Monday, Aug. 19, in a closed-door executive session with attorney Lori Patterson, who, along with attorney Leo Bearman, represents the commission in the federal court lawsuit over the schools merger and the formation of suburban school districts.

38. Private Legal Talks Underway on Schools -

As Bartlett citizens got an update this week on the move by it and the five other suburban towns and cities in Shelby County to form their own school systems, Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald fielded a pointed question with an interesting answer.

39. Petties Sentenced to Nine Life Terms -

Memphis drug kingpin Craig Petties will be in prison for the rest of his life for heading a violent drug organization with direct ties to a Mexican drug cartel that sold millions of dollars worth of drugs in a multi-state area centered in Memphis from 1995 to 2008.

40. Commission, Attorney Meet in Closed Session -

Shelby County Commissioners met Monday, Aug. 19, in a closed-door executive session with attorney Lori Patterson, who, along with attorney Leo Bearman, represents the commission in the federal court lawsuit over the schools merger and the formation of suburban school districts.

41. Ruling Could Add to Busy Special Election Calendar -

If the Shelby County Election Commission sets a new election date for the District 4 countywide school board seat sometime this year, it will be the 10th special election in Shelby County in what was supposed to be an off-election year for much of the county.

42. Commission Drops Fire/Ambulance Utility District For Now -

The idea of a utility district for fire and ambulance services in unincorporated Shelby County and several of the smaller suburban towns and cities was voted down Monday, Aug. 19, by the Shelby County Commission.

43. Mays Ponders What Remains in Suburban Schools Federal Suit -

All sides in the still-pending federal lawsuit over the reformation of public education in Shelby County have through Friday, Aug. 23, to take stock of what is left to decide in the lawsuit.

Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays wants to hear from all sides in the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee specifically on the claims by the Shelby County Commission that municipal school districts in the suburbs violate parts of the Tennessee and U.S. Constitutions.

44. Stanton: Memphis Policies in Step With Holder Plan -

When U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder talked this week about “a fundamentally new approach” in which crimes federal prosecutors pursue and the sentences they seek, he outlined an approach that has been taking shape in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee for several years.

45. Commission Considers Timetable for School Board Appointment -

Shelby County Commissioners meet in special session Wednesday, Aug. 14, to set the procedure for appointing a new member to the countywide school board.

And the process is much less complicated than it was before a ruling by Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. That’s not to say it is without complexity.

46. Commission Calls Special Meeting on School Board Vacancy -

Shelby County Commission chairman Mike Ritz has called a special meeting of the body for Wednesday, Aug. 14, to set a timetable for filling a vacancy on the countywide school board.

The one item of business on the special meeting agenda, announced Friday, Aug. 9, is a resolution that sets a new timetable for filling the vacancy left in school board District 6 when Reginald Porter became chief of staff to interim schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson.

47. Mays’ Ruling to Impact Future Schools Talks -

The political stakes were high for some on the Shelby County Commission.

The majority on the body who voted to contest in court the creation of municipal school districts in Shelby County’s six suburban towns and cities was just as intent on playing a role in who went on the countywide school board a month into the first school year of the merger.

48. Mays: School Board Stays At Seven For A Year -

The countywide school board will slim down to seven members effective Sept. 1 with no expansion of the board to 13 members until the August 2014 county general elections are decided and the winners take office Sept. 1, 2014.

49. School Board Vacancy Collides With Redistricting -

Shelby County Commissioners have scrapped a plan to fill a vacancy on the countywide school board for now because it comes close to the Sept. 1 conversion of the 23-member school board to a smaller group.

50. Commission Scraps Process for Filling School Board Vacancy -

Attorneys for the Shelby County Commission are seeking a status conference with U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays on their plan to convert what is now a 23-member countywide school board to 13 members effective Sept. 1.

51. Sentencing Set for Drug Gang Leader -

A sealed sentencing hearing Thursday, July 25, for Memphis drug kingpin Craig Petties was postponed to Aug. 22.

52. Ritz: School Finances Remain Complex -

Shelby County Commission Chairman Mike Ritz said Tuesday, July 23, the commission is unlikely to increase funding to the countywide school system in the near future.

Ritz spoke at the Memphis Rotary Club the day after the commission approved a $4.38 county property tax rate that includes $20 million in new funding for the schools – the first increase in county funding to public education since 2005.

53. Drug Kingpin Petties Returns to Memphis -

Memphis drug kingpin Craig Petties has returned to the city after a brief stay in a federal prison transfer center in Oklahoma City.

54. Petties Returns To Memphis -

Memphis drug kingpin Craig Petties has returned to the city after a brief stay in a federal prison transfer center in Oklahoma City earlier this week.

55. Petties Again Switches Federal Prisons -

Memphis drug kingpin Craig Petties is on the move again in the federal prison system as more sealed documents involving Petties have been filed in the largest drug case ever brought in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee.

56. School Board Races Next for Suburbs -

Look for suburban school board races probably in November now that voters in the six suburban towns and cities in Shelby County have approved forming municipal school districts.

The results were never close in any of the separate referendums on the Tuesday, July 16, special election ballots in each of the towns and cities.

57. Suburban Schools Districts Approved Again Overwhelmingly -

It was never close Tuesday, July 16, in any of Shelby County’s six suburban towns and cities in the second set of referendums in less than a year on forming municipal school districts.

As they did in August 2012, voters in each of the six towns and cities approved the formation of the school districts separate from the consolidated countywide school system.

58. Suburbs Head to Polls in Municipal Schools Vote -

Voters in Shelby County’s six suburban towns and cities go to the polls Tuesday, July 16, in a repeat of the set of 2012 referendums on forming municipal school districts.

Polls in 43 precincts with 143,334 voters are open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

59. Schools Case Moving Under Radar -

With less than a month to the opening of the first year of the consolidated school system, much of the focus has shifted to the classroom and away from the system, the school board and even the ongoing federal court case over the merger.

60. Early Voting Opens for Municipal Schools -

Early voting in advance of the July 16 special elections on forming suburban school districts opens Wednesday, June 26, at the Shelby County Election Commission offices Downtown at 157 Poplar Ave.

61. Suburbs Ready for Start of Early Voting -

Early voting will be a bit earlier than usual for the municipal school district referendums in Shelby County’s six suburban towns and cities.

Election Day is July 16 in each of the suburban communities holding the set of special elections with the ballot question as the only item on the ballot.

62. Lewis Gets Life Sentence in Petties Drug Case -

Martin Lewis, convicted last year of killing a man in 2007 for the Craig Petties drug organization in a busy restaurant, was sentenced Friday, June 14, to life in prison.

63. Leaders at Table in Separate Talks -

The elected officials on all sides of the schools merger lost one item on their plates last week as the school year ended for Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools students and parents.

Those in the systems working on the terms of the schools merger had also been running the two separate school systems as well until last week’s final bell.

64. Armstrong Hears Whalum-Woods Election Dispute -

On his way this week to hearing and later deciding the case of a disputed election for a countywide school board seat, Chancellor Kenny Armstrong got a feel for the complexities voters faced in the 2012 election and beyond.

65. Suburbs Return School Districts to Ballot -

As three of Shelby County’s six suburban towns and cities locked in July 16 referendums on forming municipal school districts, there were indications of renewed discussions between the suburban leaders and Shelby County Commissioners on the terms of forming those districts.

66. Lewis Gets Life in Petties Case -

Clinton Lewis was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday, May 14, for his role in the multi-state drug organization headed by Craig Petties.

67. Hamlet Pleads in Petties Drug Case -

After five years in a Mexican prison, Chris Hamlet pleaded guilty in Memphis federal court Tuesday, May 7, to U.S. drug conspiracy charges that could earn him an even longer stint in a U.S. prison.

68. Suburbs Start Again on Municipal Schools -

Aldermen in five of the six suburban towns and cities in Shelby County began the move Monday, May 6, to a July 16 referendum date for a second round of referendums on forming municipal school districts possibly as early as the 2014-2015 school year.

69. Suburbs Start Second Move To Ballot On Municipal Schools -

Aldermen in five of the six suburban towns and cities in Shelby County began the move Monday, May 6, to a July 16 referendum date for a second round of referendums on forming municipal school districts possibly as early as the 2014-2015 school year.

70. School Board Approached by Suburbs -

A new round of talks about the schools merger and municipal school districts is about to begin.

And this time, the countywide school board may be at the table.

Countywide school board attorney Valerie Speakman told school board members Tuesday, April 30, that attorneys for the leaders of Shelby County’s six suburban municipalities have sent her a letter about possible talks on issues that go beyond the consent decree governing the merger.

71. School Board Delays Supt. Search, Approves Merger Outsourcing Contracts -

Countywide school board members voted Tuesday, April 30, to move their search for a merger superintendent beyond the August start of the merger.

But the board voted down a resolution asking Memphis Federal Court Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays to consider delaying the merger itself.

72. School Board May Delay Superintendent Search -

The search for a superintendent to lead Shelby County’s consolidated school system could be put on hold by the countywide school board Tuesday evening.

And Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell said Tuesday he agrees with a proposed year-long delay in the merger if it is to take into account the impact of suburban school districts.

73. Mays Ponders Changes in Merger Terms -

U.S. District Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays is considering whether he should change the terms of the 2011 consent decree that so far has governed the path to consolidation of Shelby County’s two public school systems.

74. Schools Merger Saga Faces Busy Day -

Countywide school board members will discuss and vote Tuesday, April 30, on starting the process of closing 11 more schools, one agenda item during what promises to be a busy day in the schools consolidation saga.

75. Board Continues Delay on Outsourcing Decision -

Not every member of the countywide school board who voted against outsourcing custodial services in February is still trying to stop the contract to carry that out.

But enough were at the Thursday, April 25, special meeting of the board that there was another delay in going through with one of the most critical decisions the 23-member body will make about the merger. And another four to six school board members were absent during the series of votes.

76. School Board Votes Down Custodial Contract Twice -

Countywide school board members twice voted down outsourcing custodial services in the merged school district to the company GCA Thursday, April 25, leaving undone the second step of the board’s February decision to outsource the services.

77. Hamlet to Plead in Petties Drug Case -

The last defendant in the Craig Petties federal drug case is scheduled to plead guilty in May to drug conspiracy charges.

78. New Schools Computer System Behind Schedule -

One of the earliest items on the schools merger checklist was a new computer system that would handle the payroll and other human resources needs of Shelby County’s two school systems once they become one at the start of the new fiscal year July 1.

79. Hopson Proposes Closing 11 Schools In 2014-2015 -

Memphis-Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson is proposing the countywide school board close 11 more schools, 10 in the city of Memphis and one in Millington.

The closings which include three Memphis high schools – Northside, Carver and Westwood – would take effect in the 2014-2015 school year if approved by the school board.

80. Special Elections Take Shape in Suburbs -

It looks like 2013 will be an election year in the six suburban towns and cities in Shelby County.

But Memphis may not join the forming set of special elections until very late in the year if at all, according to one estimate by the Shelby County Election Commission.

81. Hopson Eliminates All But One Executive Director's Position -

The still forming central office of the consolidated school sytem will include only one executive director -- the executive director of safety and security.

Interim schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson has reposted central office positions following his decision last week to eliminate all of one of the executive director positions from the city and county school systems in the front office of the new school system to come.

82. Suburban Mayors Preach Patience to Parents -

Suburban leaders are counseling patience among parents of children in their communities who will be part of the coming merger of the county’s two public school systems.

And they will start moving in May on the process of forming municipal school districts for the 2014-2015 school year.

83. Mays Hears School Board Member Selection Question -

A year and a half ago, all sides in the federal court case over the consolidation of public schools in Shelby County reached a hopeful milestone that set the ground rules for the merger.

“The proposed decree brings finality to this matter,” wrote Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays in accepting the agreement and making it an order in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. “It prevents years of litigation and establishes the basis for cooperative solutions based on good public policy, rather than legal solutions imposed by the court.”

84. Mays Weighs School Board Changes -

Memphis Federal Court Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays remembers the part of the 2011 consent decree in the schools merger case that gives the Shelby County Commission the option of increasing the size of the countywide school board to up to 13 members after Sept. 1.

85. Municipal Schools Bill Sails Through House, Senate -

After much speculation about resistance from other parts of the state to lifting the statewide ban on special school districts statewide, the bill to do that sailed through the Tennessee House and Senate Monday, April 15.

86. Legislature Sends Municipal Schools Bill To Haslam -

The Tennessee House and Senate sent a bill permitting municipal school districts in 29 cities including the six suburban towns and cities in Shelby County to Gov. Bill Haslam Monday, April 15, for his signature.

87. Mays to Consider 13-Member School Board -

After some time out of the public eye, the schools consolidation court case goes back before federal Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays Tuesday, April 16, for a hearing on the plan to change the structure of the countywide school board.

88. Mays Sets Hearing in Schools Case -

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays has set a Tuesday, April 16, hearing on the move by the Shelby County Commission to make the countywide school board a 13-member body effective Sept. 1.

89. School Board Restructure Next for Federal Court -

All sides in the federal lawsuit over the schools merger will be getting together soon to talk about the Shelby County Commission’s plan to restructure the countywide school board.

A trio of court filings before and after the Easter weekend set the stage for a decision to come by Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee on the commission’s plan to appoint six new school board members to take office Sept. 1.

90. Commission Votes Down Residency Referendum, Names Gomes New Judge -

Shelby County Commissioners gave final approval Monday, April 1, to an exemption to the county government residency requirement for Memphis City Schools teachers and other school system employees.

The commission also voted down an August ballot question that would have put to voters doing away with the residency requirement in the county charter.

91. Hopson Takes Over Public Schools Leadership -

Since Dorsey Hopson became general counsel for Memphis City Schools in 2008, he has experienced a whirlwind of change.

The Memphis City Council cut funding to the school system triggering a landmark court case, city and county school systems have been on a fast and rocky path to a merger, and the countywide board ballooned to 23 members. And then Hopson found himself in January serving as the interim superintendent of Memphis City Schools.

92. Hopson Heads Both School Systems -

The city and county school systems have a single school superintendent less than five months from the start of the first school year of the consolidated school system in Shelby County.

Interim Memphis City Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson was appointed interim Shelby County Schools superintendent at the first countywide school board meeting since the board approved a buyout last week of county schools superintendent John Aitken.

93. Board to Weigh School Closings -

Countywide school board members are scheduled to vote Tuesday, March 26, on the closings of four schools at the end of the current year.

And they could see additions to the agenda that put the Achievement School District’s Gestalt Community Schools charter operation in Humes Middle School with the new school year. That would also come with an end for the time being of plans for a new optional school the school board had approved for Humes at the start of the school year.

94. Defendant Gets 12 Years in Petties Drug Case -

A contract killer for the Craig Petties drug organization who never carried out his job got a 12-year, five-month prison sentence Thursday, March 21, from U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays.

95. Mays Needs to Grab Control of Merger -

Maybe most of the work of the schools merger has been done by the countywide school board. That’s a big maybe.

Even with that assumption, it is still hard to put a happy face at the top of this assignment that counts for most of a critical grade our elected leaders should get.

96. Aitken Departs Post Without Board Opposition -

In the end there weren’t any attempts Tuesday, March 19, to talk John Aitken into remaining as Shelby County Schools superintendent.

Countywide school board members made no moves to call off a superintendent search process that now has no firm date by which to pick a schools leader.

97. School Board Restructuring Plan Goes to Mays -

On the way to U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays is a plan by the Shelby County Commission to convert the countywide school board to a 13-member single-district body effective Sept. 1.

98. County Commission Sends 13-Member School Board Plan to Judge -

Shelby County Commissioners approved a plan Monday, March 18, to convert the countywide school board to a 13-member single district body effective Sept. 1.

The plan which includes district lines that are almost but not an identical match of the 13-member single districts to be used in county commission elections in 2014 goes to Memphis Federal Court Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays for his action.

99. Aitken’s Surprise Greets School Board -

The countywide school board returns from spring break Tuesday, March 19, for a special meeting that could include terms of or at least a discussion of buyout terms for Shelby County Schools superintendent John Aitken.

100. County Commission Weighs School Merger Changes -

Shelby County Commissioners might discuss Monday, March 18, the idea of restructuring the countywide school board for a third time in the last year and a half.

But they are likely to delay action on a resolution that would create a 13-member school board effective Sept. 1 by appointing six new members to go with the seven existing members.