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Editorial Results (free)

1. Millington Leaders Emphasize Unique School System -

For much of the move to the demerger of public education in Shelby County, the Millington Municipal Schools district has been overshadowed by the five other suburban school systems.

All six formed starting in January and three weeks ago opened for classes, but Millington school system leaders, principals, teachers and civic leaders didn’t have their opening celebration until this past weekend, the day after the Millington Central High School Trojans beat the Germantown Red Devils in the first weekend of high school football.

2. Germantown Schools Tuition Debate Lingers -

UPDATE: In a special meeting Friday, March 7, the Germantown Municipal Schools board voted 3-0 to rescind its tuition requirement for open enrollment of students living outside Germantown.

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3. Demerger Debate -

In five months, a new school year will begin in Shelby County. And for a second straight academic year, many parents will be able to say it is unlike any in their lifetimes.

The first and last school year of the unified Memphis City and Shelby County Schools systems will be followed by what educators are calling the “demerger.”

4. Luttrell Talks School Funding as Reformation Continues -

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell says Shelby County has seen more change and movement in education than any other community in the country.

5. Suburban Superintendents Start Work -

Each of their contracts now approved, the superintendents and directors of Shelby County six suburban school systems sat down Tuesday, Jan. 7, around the same table for the first time to talk about how to build their school districts.

6. Stephens Among Finalists for Bartlett Schools Post -

Shelby County Schools deputy superintendent David Stephens is among the three finalists to lead the Bartlett Schools system.

7. Stephens Among Finalists for Bartlett Schools Post -

Shelby County Schools deputy superintendent David Stephens is among the three finalists to lead the Bartlett Schools system.

8. 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.

9. School Board Members Look to Post-Election Direction -

Once the winners are certified in the six sets of suburban school board races on Tuesday’s ballot in Shelby County, the first order of business for all of the boards will be selecting superintendents to run the six fledgling school systems.

10. Transcript: Luttrell Discusses Schools, Other Issues Facing County -

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell talked several weeks ago with The Memphis News editorial board about the coming merger of schools and the creation of municipal school districts.

The conversation took place a few days before voters in all six suburban towns and cities approved the creation of municipal school districts.

11. Cost Analysis Sparks Little Reaction -

Shelby County Commissioner Mike Ritz noted that before he finished his presentation Wednesday, May 16, on how much municipal school systems in the suburbs could cost, other commissioners had already emailed the proposal to suburban mayors backing the move to municipal school districts.

12. Ritz: Districts Will See Cost Run-Ups -

Shelby County Commissioner Mike Ritz said municipal school districts could cost suburban towns and cities much more in expenses and taxes than initially estimated.

Ritz rolled out his critique of the numbers in the reports from earlier this year by Southern Educational Strategies LLC for each of the six suburban towns and cities in Shelby County.

13. Reactions to Schools Legislation Changing in Nashville -

Tennessee legislators from outside Shelby County got a look at where the Shelby County schools reformation discussion was in January this week on Capitol Hill in Nashville.

And they didn’t like the idea that their counties could be living with Shelby County rules.

14. Decision Could Go Until August In Bartlett -

Two of the five suburban towns and cities pursuing municipal school districts have their May 10 referendums on the ballot and a second one scheduled for Aug. 2.

The May ballot question is about a municipal school district, not the half-cent local sales tax hike that is the other part of forming such a school district.

15. More Work Needed Before May Referenda -

Municipal school districts may be a good idea.

But what passes for a plan to launch such school systems is dangerously deficient and a disservice to the suburban voters who are being asked to embark down the road to such school districts in a set of referenda in May.

16. Suburban Schools’ Train ‘Has Left the Station’ -

The six suburban mayors say the train to municipal school districts is on the tracks and has no time to stop to consider whatever plan the schools consolidation transition planning commission comes up with for a merged public school system.

17. Suburban Mayors Hear Lots Of Concerns From Schools Planning Commission -

The group drawing up the blueprint for a consolidated countywide public school system will plan for a school system that covers the entire county including the suburban towns and cities.

That’s what the chairwoman of the schools consolidation transition planning commission told all six suburban mayors Thursday, Feb. 16, as the planning commission talked with the mayors about their plans to create municipal school districts.

18. Schools Consolidation Group Wants Meeting With Suburban Mayors -

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell warned the schools consolidation transition planning commission that it cannot ignore the issue of suburban municipal school districts as it draws up the blueprint for a consolidated countywide school system.

19. Sides Firm on Annexation but Stand Down -

A year after the Memphis City Council and Republican state legislators from Shelby County had their first race to see who could pass their school consolidation measures first, there is hesitancy on both sides to stage a second political drag race on annexation.

20. Annexation Returns to Forefront in Schools Discussion -

It keeps coming back to the issue of turf between the city of Memphis and the six suburban municipalities.

The complex questions of who paid for what, how much they paid and who gets it predates the ongoing move to schools consolidation by years. And it has everything to do with whether Shelby County has one or multiple public school systems at the start of the 2013-2014 school year.

21. Council Considers Quick Annex Of Grays Creek -

Memphis City Council members will meet Tuesday, Jan. 31, to consider a fast track annexation of the Gray’s Creek area of Cordova.

The 4:30 p.m. committee session at City Hall is a reaction to a new bill introduced in Nashville by two Shelby County legislators that would take a swath of land in southeast Shelby County bordering Fayette County out of the city of Memphis annexation reserve area.

22. Property Value Among School Bills Board is Examining -

If a charter school rents or buys an existing public school building in Tennessee, it would have to be at fair market value under one of numerous charter school bills expected to be filed in the Tennessee Legislature this year.

23. Arlington and Lakeland Schools Reports Read Differently - Newly-released reports on the idea of municipal school districts in Arlington and Lakeland read a bit differently than the previous reports released this week by city leaders in Bartlett, Germantown and Collierville.

24. Full Text of Schools Feasibility Study Reports -

Feasibility studies for the creation of a municipal school district have been released for five of six suburban municipalities – Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown and Lakeland. The report for Millington has not yet been released.

25. Bartlett Explores Own School District -

If Bartlett moves forward with its own municipal school district, the city’s school board would have to immediately begin making plans for a new high school.

And it would need to forge a cooperative agreement with the countywide school system or another municipal school system that would include Arlington High School and Bon Lin Elementary School and other territory outside the city that Bartlett students now attend.

26. Full Text of Schools Feasibility Study Reports -

Feasibility studies for the creation of a municipal school district have been released for three of six suburban municipalities – Bartlett, Collierville and Germantown. These are the full reports from Southern Educational Strategies LLC.

...

27. Suburbs Move Forward on School Districts -

If there are suburban school systems in Shelby County and they want to start classes in August 2013, when Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools merge, it will be a fast track process – just like the merger the suburbs are reacting to.

28. Full Text of Schools Feasibility Study Reports -

Feasibility studies for the creation of a municipal school district have been released for three of six suburban municipalities – Bartlett, Collierville and Germantown. These are the full reports from Southern Educational Strategies LLC.

...

29. Suburban Schools Reports Conclude No Cost To Get Buildings - The local discussion about changes to Shelby County’s two public schools systems has shifted this week to efforts by leaders of the county’s six suburban towns and cities to form their own school system or systems.

30. Report: No Cost for Bartlett Schools Transfer -

The local discussion about changes to Shelby County’s two public schools systems shifts this week to efforts by leaders of the county’s six suburban towns and cities to form their own school system or systems.

31. ‘Gifts’ Worth Exchanging -

AW, YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE. REALLY. Last week, I suggested we all look around for very merry Memphis things to give family and friends this year. I would be remiss if I didn’t also recognize a few of those folks who’ve been giving it to us, good and proper, all year long.

32. Events -

The Crescent Club Growth Strategies Group will meet Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Crescent Club, 6075 Poplar Ave. Philip Johnson and Tom Merriam, partners at Argyle Benefits Consultants, will speak. Cost is $15 for members and $20 for nonmembers. For reservations, call 684-1010.

33. Open Dialogue -

Ask a group of teenagers whether they feel their ideas are taken seriously by adults and it’s pretty much guaranteed the response will be a unanimous, resounding “No.”

But if those teens participate in Imagine Memphis, a citywide initiative designed to connect youth and adults to imagine and create a better Memphis, the response to that question is likely to be an overwhelmingly positive one.

34. Blotner Named Communications Specialist for Impact Marketing -

Jonathan D. Blotner has joined Impact Marketing as a corporate communications specialist. In his new role, Blotner will head all public relations efforts within the company, assist in research and development of new business, as well as create new interactive media opportunities for Impact's clients. Blotner formerly was CEO and media director of J. Blotner Advertising & PR in New Orleans.