Rally encourages residents to 'Vote Yes' for municipal schools - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Rally encourages residents to 'Vote Yes' for municipal schools

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People wore "Vote Yes" T-shirts, and held up signs urging fellow residents to vote in favor of municipal schools. People wore "Vote Yes" T-shirts, and held up signs urging fellow residents to vote in favor of municipal schools.

(WMC-TV) - Germantown parents hit the pavement Saturday morning for a get-out-the-vote rally and march.

Their goal is to establish their own municipal school system that allows local control and accountability in their public schools.

People wore "Vote Yes" T-shirts, and held up signs urging fellow residents to vote in favor of municipal schools.

Mother of two Audrey Grossman arranged the pro-municipal schools rally.

"We're voting 'yes' to authorize the City of Germantown to start a municipal school district," she said.

Grossman says the goal of municipal schools in Germantown was motivated by a number of factors. This includes Memphis politicians taking over SCS and the proven success and efficiency of smaller, locally controlled school systems.

It is round two for voters in the six Shelby County suburbs.

"The judge threw out last year's results," explained Ken Hoover.

Hoover won a Germantown Municipal School Board seat last year, and he plans to run again.

Judge Samuel Mays voided last year's votes to form suburban schools and elect school board members because the wording of the law that lifted the ban on municipal schools appeared to have been designed solely for Shelby County.

No state law can be written with only one county in mind.

"We're trying to make sure the word is out that there is another referendum," said Grossman.

In April, legislators rewrote the bill to lift the ban on municipal schools and it passed.

"We believe in this for Germantown," Mayor Sharon Goldsworthy told the crowd. "Means by which we might have better control over what is occurring in the public schools our children are attending."

Current Shelby County Board of Education commissioner Mary Anne Gibson says it is about preservation.

"We've got to fix this," she added. "I want my children to be able to come back here from their time in other parts of the world, and I want them to come back and raise their families."

Suburban students will merge with Memphis schools for one year.

If these votes pass again, the suburbs will start separate school systems in 2014.

"There are a number of people who don't realize we have to vote again," said Grossman.

After the rally, voters marched to the polls to cast their votes.

"We do have to vote again," added Hoover. "We have to say 'yes' one more time and then we'll elect a school board in November."

Early voting ends July 11 and election day is July 16.

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