Both sides of municipal and county schools meet for first time - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Both sides of municipal and county schools meet for first time

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - On Friday both sides in the municipal schools lawsuit go back to the table to try to settle their differences. Only this time, they've invited people who are already running a school district to join the conversation.

Six Shelby County municipalities lost their federal court battle to form their own school districts. The Shelby County board of education has now been asked to help bring the litigation to an end.

"We're not a party to the lawsuit I guess we're a beneficiary of anything that happens in the lawsuit but we're not a party to the lawsuit," said TPC Board Chairman,Billy Orgel.

Orgel received a written request from the attorney representing the six Shelby County municipalities to assemble a group of commissioners to join the discussions between both parties in the lawsuit.

"I believe that it's probably in our best interest to be a party to the discussions," Orgel said.

This Friday will be the first time the two sides have resumed talks since a federal judge ruled municipal schools are unconstitutional.

"If anybody should be in on the discussions, it should be us," School Board Commissioner Kenneth Whalum, Jr. said.

Whalum also alluded to the invitation as being overdue.

"Out of all of the things that have been talked about including and especially the TPC and all these plans none of them are elected to educate the children, we are," Whalum said.

Just as school board commissioners recognize the achievements of Whitehaven students who recently won the state football championship, they also recognize the importance of settling a lawsuit that has been very un-settling to the future of education.

The attendance of school board commissioners at the meetings will create a significant change.

Because they're elected the meetings are subject to the sunshine law, which means you will be able to monitor whether they're getting any closer to settling their differences.

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