Municipal schools legal battle continues next week - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Municipal schools legal battle continues next week

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One of the most significant federal court hearings on municipal school districts in Shelby County, a case that will affect everyone, will take place after the Labor Day holiday. One of the most significant federal court hearings on municipal school districts in Shelby County, a case that will affect everyone, will take place after the Labor Day holiday.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - One of the most significant federal court hearings on municipal school districts in Shelby County, a case that will affect everyone, will take place after the Labor Day holiday.

"It comes down to local control and local control is obviously something that has been talked about from the beginning," said Stan Joyner, Collierville mayor.

Tuesday's hearing in Judge Samuel "Hardy" Mays' courtroom will decide if the state legislation passed last year which allows municipal school districts is constitutional.

For the law to be valid, it must be applied statewide and not just in Shelby County.

Joyner says it does apply elsewhere.

"Judge Mays ruled in part on that last August, August 2011," he said. "It could apply to Gibson and Carroll County."

However, Unified County School Board member Martavius Jones says it's unrealistic to say the municipal school district law applies outside of Shelby County.

The hearing could last several days and a ruling is expected sometime in September. In November, lawyers will begin arguing whether municipal school districts in Shelby County would segregate the schools. Then they'll begin discussing ownership of school buildings.

The fight over municipal schools is costing taxpayers.

The total bill for legal fees on both sides since last May is more than $500,000. The cost could be well over $1 million by November.

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