'Master' could be selected to help with school merger - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

'Master' could be selected to help with school merger

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Attorneys on both sides of the Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools merger battle left the courtroom Monday with new motivation to work differences out.

The judge in the case wants to bring in a special master to move things along and attorneys now have until Wednesday to submit names of people they want considered for the job.

Attorneys on both sides of the school merger were summoned to federal court for a special meeting with the judge.

"We'll just have to see, I have no idea what his honor is going to do," said Leo Bearman, attorney.

Minutes later, those attorney found out exactly what Judge Samuel Hardy Mays wants to do.

During a close door meeting, Judge Mays told them he is considering the appointment of a special master in the hopes of moving the case along faster.

"The master I think is going to encourage the school board to start making some decisions," said Mike Ritz, Shelby County School Board.

For months, the new municipal school district has had a start up date of July 1. But attorneys say time is running out.

"Well if you've got a target date of July 1, you had better start something, better decide who's going to be teaching, who's going to be providing maintenance, driving buses, all of those issues. Time is getting short," said Tom Cates, attorney for the suburban municipalities.

Other key issues the special master will tackle include selecting a superintendent and ironing out some budget questions.

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