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VOL. 128 | NO. 240 | Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Germantown Schools Deal Approved by Aldermen

By Bill Dries

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UPDATE: The Germantown Board of Aldermen approved the tentative agreement with Shelby County Schools Monday, Dec. 9, as described below.

GOLDSWORTHY

Again the terms call for Germantown Elementary, Middle and High Schools to remain in the Shelby County Schools system next school year.

The agreement, like the five others already approved in the five other suburban towns and cities, would give students open enrollment options. In this case, students living in Germantown who now attend the three schools in question could opt to attend them or shift to schools in the Germantown Schools system to come.

Shelby County Schools board members have the Germantown agreement on their agenda for a special meeting Tuesday, Dec. 10, that follows the board's monthly work session.

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Germantown Mayor Sharon Goldsworthy says not so fast with word of a tentative agreement between Shelby County Schools and Germantown leaders on an agreement on schools.

“Nothing’s been settled,” Goldsworthy said, responding to reports of a tentative deal Monday, Dec. 9, in which Germantown would get five of the eight schools within its borders and pay $4.2 million over 12 years to settle the part of the nearly three-year-old federal lawsuit that deals with the creation of the suburban school districts.

“I think some folks jumped the gun and made some assumptions that everything was a done deal,” Goldsworthy said an hour and a half before the Germantown Board of Mayor and Aldermen were scheduled to meet in a private session with their attorneys in the schools negotiations. “It’s not done until people vote for things.”

Following the private meeting with legal counsel, the board of mayor and aldermen meets at 6 p.m. in a regularly scheduled meeting. And Goldsworthy said there is no item dealing with the schools deal on the agenda of the open meeting, though one could be added later.

The Germantown Schools board was also to meet privately with the same attorneys in the schools case Monday afternoon.

The Shelby County Schools board has called a special meeting after its Tuesday, Dec. 10, evening work session with “City of Germantown agreement” as the only item on the agenda. Goldsworthy said the special meeting and its item is a placeholder agreed to without any guarantee there would be tentative settlement for the board to vote on.

The negotiations between Shelby County Schools and Germantown leaders have continued longer than the other five sets of talks, which have all come to agreement.

The terms of those five deals have also been approved by the various parties, including leaders of the suburban cities and towns, the Shelby County Commission, the Shelby County Schools board and the suburban school boards in Millington, Arlington, Lakeland, Bartlett and Collierville.

The Germantown talks have taken longer because Shelby County Schools proposed keeping three of the eight schools within the Germantown city limits – Germantown Elementary, Middle and High Schools – in the Shelby County system for the 2014-2015 school year.

Germantown leaders, led by Goldsworthy, made a counterproposal that would allow Germantown Elementary to become part of the new Germantown Schools system while Germantown Middle and High schools would remain with Shelby County Schools.

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