Pastors announce support for MCS charter surrender - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Pastors announce support for MCS charter surrender

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MEMPHIS, TN -

By Jamel Major - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - 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.

"It's time for us - past time for us - to put Jim Crow to rest," Dr. Stacy Spenser said. 'Separate but equal has never worked, and it's definitely not going to work in the 21st century."

The group is hoping to increase community support and voter turnout for the Memphis City Schools charter referendum.

A unified school system would have 150 thousand students, with the county in control.  The ministers say the Memphis City Schools board acted responsibly in surrendering its charter.

"We believe the Memphis City School Board acted responsibly given the reality of the situation before them," Pastor N. Hutchinson said. "We also see that voting yes to affirm the decision made by the Memphis City School Board is in the best interest of the citizens of Memphis."

The merger supporters said they have a message for those who are against consolidation:

"We have heard from those opposed to this issue is fear," Hutchingson said. "It's interesting how those who should be in preparation mode around this issue instead spend much of their time in the public square to scare voter into a no decision."

Group members said that is why the vote to affirm the decision made by the Memphis City Schools board is in the best interest of the citizens of Memphis and Shelby County.

"The county isn't going to thrive without the city, and the city is part of the county," said Dr. Cheryl Cornish. "Martin Luther King said it right when he said we have to be our brother's keepers, our sister's sisters.  We have to work together."

The pastors said it is important for everyone to vote and to understand what they're voting on when they head to the polls on March 8.

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