Special Section - Charter Surrender - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MEMPHIS CITY SCHOOLS CHARTER SURRENDER - CONTINUING COVERAGE

Memphis, schools close to compromise on funding

The mayor of Memphis and the superintendent of the city schools system are close to a compromise on funding that the city owes following a $57 million court judgment.

Commissioners plan for legal fees in school merger battle

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Shelby County Commissioners spent Wednesday discussing how to put money aside for legal fees to fight the schools battle in court.

List of unified school board candidates filled with familiar names

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Last week, Shelby County Commissioners interviewed dozens of unified school board candidates. The short list includes current Memphis and Shelby County school board members, well-known community names, and religious leaders.

UPDATED: Whalum resolution asks for exact count of MCS teen pregnancies

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As Memphis City School Board Commissioners prepare for the transition to a unified school board with Shelby County Schools, board member Kenneth Whalum says parents teachers and students deserve to know where things stand.

New lawsuits imminent in merger of city, county schools

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Shelby County commissioners confirmed Monday that two new lawsuits are now looming in the battle to merge Memphis and Shelby County Schools.

In Memphis, old strife heats up over schools, race

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A bold bid by the struggling, majority-black Memphis City Schools system to force a merger with the majority-white, successful suburban district has fanned relatively routine fears over funding and student performance into accusations of full-blown racism.

Officials from Memphis City, Shelby County schools react to vote

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The day after 71 percent of Memphis voters decided to unify Memphis and Shelby County Schools, the tone was starkly different at news conferences for each school system Wednesday.

Memphis voters approve charter surrender

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Voters in Memphis have approved a referendum that transfers control of Memphis City Schools to Shelby County.

Newly released poll offers insight into charter surrender vote

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After months of confusion, lawsuits and political wrangling, the fight to surrender the Memphis City Schools charter is less than 24 hours away.  Monday, a newly released poll suggested what the charter surrender's outcome may be.

Final push for votes begins as charter surrender vote approaches

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A rally started the final push for votes with the historic Memphis City Schools charter surrender vote only days away.

For the first time, council members hear from special school district study's authors

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Two pivotal players in the fight to surrender the Memphis City Schools charter broke their silence Tuesday.

Commissioners finalize vote on 25 member school board

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The Shelby County Commission held a spirited debate Monday about creating a board that would govern a unified school district.

Expert offers insight into charter surrender repercussions

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As the date of the referendum to decide whether or not Memphis City Schools should surrender its charter draws closer, many say they can't decide if an MCS merger with Shelby County Schools would be good or bad.

Commissioner says code of conduct violates First Amendment

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Shelby County Commissioner and University of Memphis law professor Steve Mulroy said the latest action by the Shelby County School Board may be a direct violation of the First Amendment.

Shelby County Schools superintendent gets contract extension

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The Shelby County School Board approved a golden parachute for the current superintendent Thursday.

Commissioner storms out of meeting on schools merger

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A Shelby County Commissioner stormed out of a meeting on the proposed Memphis City Schools/Shelby County Schools merger Wednesday, telling reporters the Commission was wasting taxpayer dollars.

U of M law professor says charter fight headed to court

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A local scholar said Saturday that the fight to surrender the Memphis City Schools charter was headed to court from the start.

Proposed changes to SCS superintendent's contract create controversy

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A spokesperson for Shelby County Schools said Friday if there is a city and county school merger, the system hopes its current superintendent, John Aitken, will stay on.  But some county school board commissioners say an effort to keep him on board could result in hundreds of thousands of wasted taxpayer dollars.

Pastors announce support for MCS charter surrender

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Dozens of area pastors united Friday to support the merger of Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools.  Members of Citizens for Better Education said they would vote 'yes' to unify the city and county school systems.

MCS launching public information campaign in charter debate

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Memphis City Schools is launching a campaign called "Just So You Know" to keep the public informed about the charter surrender referendum.

Pickler questions commissioners' power to add school board members

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As the resolution to create an interim unified Memphis and Shelby School Board moves through the Shelby County Commission, Shelby County School Board President David Pickler is worried.

Charter surrender/school consolidation events

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Click here for a list of charter surrender/school consolidation events scheduled for Thursday, February 17th.

Resolution to create unified school board moves quickly through commission

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A resolution to create an interim unified Memphis and Shelby County School Board of Commissioners is moving at warp speed through the Shelby County Commission.

Amid charter surrender battle, key lawmakers meet face to face

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A court battle is imminent between key lawmakers in the fight to surrender the Memphis City Schools charter.  But as their attorneys brace for battle, those lawmakers are forced to carry out other government business as usual.

Shelby County Commission to address school merger issues

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The Shelby County Commission will have its hands full with school merger matters Monday.

Forum hosts opposition to charter surrender referendum

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Rainbow PUSH Coalition president LaSimba Gray hosted a handful of critical leaders at Monumental Baptist Church Saturday to share opposition to the March 8 referendum to transfer Memphis schools to Shelby County.

Rally urges Memphians to vote yes to charter surrender

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Proponents of a city and county school merger held a rally Saturday in an effort to get out the vote.

Memphis Dems hit Haslam for signing merger bill

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Democrats who represent Memphis in the state House are discussing their response to a bill delaying a potential merger between the city and county school systems.

Haslam signs bill that will delay school system consolidation

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Republican Gov. Bill Haslam on Friday signed into law a bill that delays an attempt by the Memphis city school system to disband and turn education over to the Shelby County system now serving only the suburbs.

Wharton expresses disappointment in new school merger law

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Memphis Mayor AC Wharton expressed his disappointment over Gov. Bill Haslam's signing of a state law that would delay the merger of Memphis and Shelby County Schools.

City Council passes resolution that approves surrender of MCS charter

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The Memphis City Council passed a resolution Thursday evening to approve the surrender of the Memphis City Schools charter.

House passes Memphis schools' merger bill

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Opponents of a proposal that would slow down any merger between Memphis schools and the Shelby County system say it boils down to an issue of race.

Shelby County commission debates hiring independent law firm

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A storm unfolded in the Shelby County Commission Wednesday after commissioners proposed hiring an outside law firm to represent the commission in the Memphis and Shelby County school merger debate.

Council still has trump card in MCS charter surrender battle

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Final approval of a bill that would delay a school merger for two-and-a-half years is expected Thursday, even as the Memphis City Council prepares to fight back.

Norris bill passes Tennessee Senate

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The Tennessee Senate passed a bill Monday night that would control the timeline for the Memphis City Schools charter surrender.

Exclusive survey shows most voters in favor of consolidated schools

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A survey shared exclusively with Action News 5 revealed Sunday that Memphis voters will most likely choose to transfer the city school system to Shelby County.

Decades-old law adds to charter surrender confusion

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A vague law from the 1940's is partly to blame for why there is so much confusion over the Memphis City Schools charter surrender, and the protocol to make it happen.

Memphis City Council delays charter surrender vote

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"We're sitting here in one of the most important meetings in the history of this city," said Memphis City Council member Wanda Halbert during an emergency meeting Thursday.

Bill that would force school consolidation delay passes House committee

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A bill that would force Memphis City School leaders to wait at least three years before consolidating passed a another big hurdle Thursday.

Norris bill on school unification heads to State Senate

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A bill proposed by Tennessee State Senator Mark Norris that would set a three year transition period for the unification of Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools - if the MCS charter surrender is passed by voters - has been approved by a Senate Committee.

Commissioners spar over state role in charter surrender battle

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Tempers flared in Shelby County Commission Wednesday over the latest developments in the fight to surrender the Memphis City Schools Charter.

Haslam calls for plan concerning Memphis teachers

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Gov. Bill Haslam has asked for a personnel plan addressing teachers in Memphis and Shelby County regardless of the outcome of a March 8 referendum for city voters to decide whether to dissolve the city school system.

Shelby County Delegation meets in Memphis in advance of votes

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As they embark on upon a monumental vote that could decide the fate of the Memphis City Schools charter, the Shelby County Delegation held its meeting Tuesday in a unique location: the Memphis City Council's chambers.

MCS students weigh in on charter surrender debate

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Two Memphis high school debate teams weighed in on the Memphis City Schools charter surrender Sunday.

Lawmakers weigh in on MCS charter surrender debate

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While the city and county school boards race against the clock to push their consolidation agendas, the state legislature in Nashville has put their plans to delay a charter referendum vote back on the fast track.

Lt. Governor Ramsey moves to block or delay charter referendum

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Tennessee Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey touched a nerve Thursday night when he threatened a state takeover of Memphis City Schools in an effort to stop consolidation with county schools.

City and county school officials try to explain what's next in debate

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School officials tried to explain how two school districts may become one in Wednesday night's Memphis City Schools charter surrender debate.

Tracking Title One money if city and county schools merge

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Money provided by the Title One program offers critical assistance to students living in poverty.  But what will happen if Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools merge?

Whalum wants city to pay schools before charter surrender vote

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With Memphis voters on the brink of an historic vote that could transfer the city school system to Shelby County Schools, school board Commissioner Kenneth Whalum, Jr. is making new demands.

Germantown residents examine possibility of creating city school district

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The Memphis City Schools charter surrender fight has some Germantown citizens examining what it would take to create their own school district, and they may be willing to pay higher taxes to make it happen.

Study offers glimpse at possible impact of school consolidation

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A study led by Rhodes College professor Marcus Pohlmann, Ph.D. offers a unique glimpse of the possible impacts of merging Memphis and Shelby County Schools.

Charter surrender referendum set for March 8

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The Shelby County Election Commission has set March 8, 2011 as the date for the Memphis City Schools charter surrender referendum.

Courts unlikely to force county inclusion in school charter vote

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Many Shelby County residents believe they should have a say in the vote because their taxes fund city schools.  But University of Memphis Constitutional Law professor Steve Mulroy says a 1996 Federal Appeals ruling puts the breaks on the suburban inclusion argument.

MCS Board rejects charter compromise after 4-hour meeting

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Memphis City School Board members voted No to a compromise from Shelby County Schools regarding the charter surrender Tuesday.

Memphis City Council approves MCS charter surrender

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The Memphis City Council voted to approved the Memphis City Schools charter surrender effective March 21, 2011.

Panelists voice pros and cons of MCS charter surrender

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People seeking clarity in the confusing fight to surrender the Memphis City Schools charter spent Saturday morning hearing arguments for and against the vote to transfer the city school district to Shelby County Schools.

State bill regarding charter surrender progresses again

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State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris was in Nashville Thursday pushing a bill that would require a waiting period and a dual vote in the city and county before their respective school districts could consolidate.

Memphis City School Board to consider compromise

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Memphis City School Board members debated Thursday night whether they should discuss a compromise that would delay the charter surrender referendum for one year.
INSIDE: Read the agreement

Possible compromise in school charter debate could delay vote

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The Memphis City School charter surrender is perhaps the biggest issue to arise since former sheriff Mark Luttrell became Shelby County Mayor.

Haslam says lessons from Knoxville consolidation not applicable to Memphis

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Tennessee Governor-Elect Bill Haslam received a science lesson Wednesday at the Memphis Bioworks Foundation. Then, he was in the hot seat with a type of science question of his own

SCS, MCS superintendents speaking regularly about possible merger

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If Memphis voters surrender the Memphis City Schools charter, current Shelby County Schools Superintendent John Aitken is the man who would run both school systems until a new countywide school board is formed.

Memphis would still be represented in merged school system, board member says

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Among the costs the county school board listed last week were numerous school closings, massive lay-offs of city school personnel and a potential loss of millions in funding. But what you may not have heard is the current Shelby County School Board would not be in charge long.

Tipton County leader shares concerns about school consolidation

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As discussions continue over school consolidation in Memphis and Shelby County, one Tipton County leader says it is going to take a lot of time and patience to get it done right.

Group halts school charter lawsuit...for now

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There were more twists and turns in the Memphis City Schools charter surrender fight Tuesday when a citizens' group scheduled to file a lawsuit against the Shelby County Election Commission today put the brakes on their plans.

Tennessee AG says residents outside Memphis cannot vote on charter surrender

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A storm of another kind is surfacing in the fight to surrender the Memphis City Schools charter. Tennessee's State Attorney General, Robert Cooper, released a new legal opinion Monday on the heels of a report by the Shelby County attorney.

Memphis NAACP announces support of charter surrender

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The Memphis Branch of the NAACP will encourage local residents to support the proposed surrender of the Memphis City Schools charter.

Petition demands charter surrender be placed on ballot

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A new group said it will fight to combine Memphis City and Shelby County Schools.

Nashville consolidation expert offers insight into school mergers

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If there's one person who knows what it's like to consolidate school districts, its attorney Charles Cagle.  Thursday, Cagle advised the Shelby County School Board to prepare to absorb the Memphis City School District.

Petition could put charter surrender fight in voters' hands

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Despite all the opinions about whether Memphis City Schools can abolish their school district, councilman Shea Flinn said Thursday a simple document could put the issue into the hands of voters in a matter of days.

Plan for 'inevitable' merger, Shelby County school leaders told

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Leaders with Shelby County Schools were told at a meeting Thursday that their system should be prepared to merge with Memphis City Schools.

Parents have many unanswered questions about charter surrender

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When it comes to the heated issue of surrendering the Memphis City School charter to Shelby County, Memphis City School parents like Terri Harrison say there are still a lot of unanswered questions.

Referendum on surrendering MCS charter delayed

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Voters in Memphis will likely have to wait a little longer before they decide if the city should disband its school system.

2008 study explores impact of school consolidation

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The idea to surrender the Memphis City Schools charter did not originate with the school board.  Instead, it came from a study that was released in 2008.

A day after he hosted a joint news conference with Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell about the possibility of school district consolidation, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton posted a message appealing directly to parents and students in the city's school district.

Willie Herenton predicts school consolidation passage; proposes plan

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Former Memphis mayor and MCS superintendent Willie Herenton has felt the same way about school consolidation for a long time.

Memphis City Council members weigh in on MCS Charter Surrender

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Many Memphis city council members are just starting to form their opinions on the monumental school charter issue. There isn't a lot of time to for Memphians to make up their minds. Early voting on the referendum could begin in as little as 16 days.

Some portions of Memphis City Schools charter obsolete

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A close look at the Memphis City Schools charters shows that, according to constitutional law, some portions are so outdated they're obsolete. So by default, some of Memphis City Schools functions are currently operating under state and federal law.

Shelby County School leaders warn of consolidation "consequences"

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Shelby County School leaders responded Monday to the possibility of consolidation, and what it would mean if Memphis voters surrender the Memphis City Schools charter.
INSIDE: Watch the 40 minute press conference

Wharton bracing for both scenarios as charter vote approaches

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As Memphis braces for the vote to decide the fate of the Memphis City Schools charter surrender, Mayor A C Wharton is planning for both scenarios.

Memphis City Council weighs in on MCS charter surrender

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The Memphis City Council may soon be dragged into a fight between Memphis City and Shelby County Schools.

Many questions remain as MCS charter surrender vote looms

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The Shelby County Election Commission chairman said when a newly-elected Memphis City School Board is sworn in Saturday, they could overturn the board's resolution to surrender the charter.

Grassroots movement gaining momentum in opposition to MCS charter surrender

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A new grassroots campaign called "Save our Students" is gaining momentum in the debate over the Memphis City Schools charter surrender.

Arlington considers creation of municipal school district

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Leaders in Arlington say they are considering the town's boldest move in its 110 years of existence: creating a municipal school district.

Shelby County mayor braces for possible school merger

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After the historic vote to transfer Memphis City Schools to the county, lawmakers in every branch of government are bracing for what's next.

Grassroots movement emerges amid school charter questions

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A grassroots movement is emerging, as lawmakers and school leaders begin to take action on the Memphis City School Board's decision to surrender its charter and consolidate with county schools.

Election commission receives request for school charter referendum

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The Shelby County Election Commission received an official notification Wednesday from Memphis City Schools' attorneys requesting an election date for a referendum to surrender the MCS charter.

New debates surface as MCS board votes to surrender charter

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It's being called the most historic vote in the history of Memphis City Schools.  After a marathon meeting that ended just shy of midnight Monday, the MCS board passed a resolution that could consolidate city and county schools.

Board votes to surrender Memphis City Schools charter

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In a meeting that lasted more than five hours, the Memphis City Schools board voted to surrender the school system's charter Monday night.

Shelby Co. Schools proposal could keep MCS from surrendering charter

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A proposal by Shelby County Schools leaders Thursday could quiet talks of Memphis City Schools surrendering its charter.

MCS Board members spend hours discussing possible charter surrender

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Memphis City School Board Commissioners considered giving up their charter and forcing consolidation with Shelby County Schools Monday night.

Cash says charter surrender would move MCS decades backward

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Memphis City Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash made his position clear Tuesday on a proposal to surrender the city school charter.

Mayors call for more discussion on school charter

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The mayors of Memphis and Shelby County are calling for more discussion about efforts to dissolve the Memphis City Schools' charter and force consolidation of the county and city school systems.

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