Countywide school board members moved closer Tuesday, Jan. 22, to a calendar for the first year of the merger of Shelby County’s two public school system.
The first day of classes for the merged school district would be August 5 with teachers returning to work on July 29.
The dates are set in a proposed school year calendar board members reviewed Tuesday with a vote on the calendar set for the Tuesday, Jan. 29 school board meeting.
The board also got its first look at a budget process unlike the budget process used in past years by either school board.
For the first year of the merger, the two school systems would approve a preliminary and very general merger budget on Feb. 12 and present it to the Shelby County Commission on Feb. 20 for discussion at a commission budget retreat on Feb. 23.
The school board would present a specific budget request for formal approval by the commission during the regular spring budget season for the fiscal year that starts July 1.
Also at the Tuesday work session, the school board got a recommendation from the Memphis City Schools administration that the board not approve the renewal of the charter school Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering at its voting meeting next week.
The alternative to accepting the administration’s recommendation would be to extend the charter of the school for another 10 years.
Memphis City Schools superintendent Kriner Cash said he and his staff recommend non renewal because the charter school is one of the state’s bottom five percent schools in terms of student performance.
Board members had lots of questions about where students at the charter school would go and if the schools in their attendance zones are also among the bottom five percent.
More debate is likely on the issue at next week’s meeting before the board votes.
The board also reviewed plans to demolish the old Lincoln Junior High School gymnasium in South Memphis which has been vacant for five years.
Demolition contractor David Moore Inc. has agreed to demolish the building at no cost to the school system in return for the external bricks and any copper that may be left in the building. Moore is also demolishing Graceland Elementary School for the school system and agreed to do the Lincoln gymnasium as part of a package deal, according to school system administrators.
The school board votes on the demolition next week as well.