'Special master' appointed to oversee Unified School District - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

'Special master' appointed to oversee Unified School District

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - A "special master" has been appointed to oversee the formation of the Unified School District.

U.S. District Judge Samuel "Hardy" Mays appointed Rick Masson as special master.

Masson previously served as the chief administrative officer for the City of Memphis.

According to the court documents, he will be paid $250 per hour and will have the following responsibilities:

1) To monitor the work of the Shelby County Board of Education as it makes the decisions necessary to transfer the administration of the Memphis City Schools to the Shelby County Board of Education;

2) To assist the Shelby County Board of Education and its staff in making decisions and in establishing and maintaining deadlines for decisions;

3) To ensure that the issues identified in the Transition Plan approved by the Transition Planning Commission and reviewed by the Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Education are considered and resolved in a timely and appropriate way;

4) To work with the parties and the Tennessee Department of Education as necessary to provide that the rights of teachers are not impaired, interrupted, or diminished;

5) To work with the Shelby County Board of Education in establishing a practical budget for the combined school systems and with the appropriate parties to the Consent Decree that the budget is adequately funded;

6) To gather such information as may be necessary to implement the Consent Decree and to report to the Court orally or in writing, as may be necessary, considering always that time is of the essence;

7) To promote cooperation among the parties and among the members of the Shelby County Board of Education and to encourage voluntary compliance with the Consent Decree; and

8) To recommend specific action by the Court if decisions are not made or not timely made.

"Mr. Masson has experience in municipal administration and finance, the organization and management of nonprofit organizations, and strategic planning for public agencies," according to the affidavit.

As previously mentioned, Masson will earn $250 per hour for the work, plus expenses. He will be paid monthly.

Fifty percent of his compensation will be paid by Memphis City Schools and the other half will be paid by Shelby County Schools.

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