County commissioners discuss teachers' residency requirement - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

County commissioners discuss teachers' residency requirement

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SHELBY COUNTY, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Shelby County commissioners are discussing the five year grace period Memphis City School employees have to move to the county once the school merger happens.

The grace period is still in the hands of commissioners and the whole residency requirement debate could be in the hands of voters soon.

Signs of protest against residency requirements were held high for the county commissioners to see.

"Current employees of Shelby County, Memphis City Schools should be grandfathered in," said Diane Love, who lives in Memphis.

On a second reading, county commissioners approved an ordinance that would waive the residency requirement for Memphis City Schools teachers who live outside of the county.

"Shelby County is the only county in Tennessee with a residency requirement. If I could get rid of it with a snap of my finger, I would," said Commissioner Terry Roland.

MCS workers outside of the county would be required to move to Shelby County within five years, unless they were hired before September 1, 1986.

County Commissioner Terry Roland says five years is a good compromise. Others say the bottom line is attracting and keeping good teachers.

"So you're trying to tell me today we're going to let a residency policy hurt our children? This is about our children, not about us," said Commissioner Melvin Burgess.

The full county commission will vote on the amended ordinance on Monday.

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