Lakeland Joins Fight to Keep Municipal Schools On Ballot
(Lakeland, TN) Cari Baird’s children go to Lakeland Elementary School, “I am very happy with their schools the way they are right now.”
She hopes Lakeland citizens will have their voices heard August 2nd to decide if they want to create their own school district independent of the unified Memphis and Shelby County School System, “I think we should be able to vote yes or no. I mean yeah we should be able to.”
Early Monday, Lakeland became the fourth municipality to hire the law firm Burch Porter and Johnson to file a motion with federal judge Samuel Mayes.
That motion would let the suburbs help fight a lawsuit brought by the Shelby County Commission.
Lakeland commissioner Gerrit Berschuur voted to fight the lawsuit, but says he understands where Shelby County commissioners are coming from, “It’s a horribly complex issue. And there are two sides to the story and whenever there are two sides to the story there are lawsuits involved.”
Some Shelby Commissioners voted to bring the lawsuit forward because they felt starting municipal school districts will be a lot more expensive than expected, while others felt the move is racially motivated.
Berschuur says the voters should decide not commissioners, “The citizens deserve to make their voices known at this point. There are no resolutions to all the issues yet but we wanted to allow citizens to voice their opinions.”
The Millington City Council will take a vote Tuesday night to decide if they want to hire representation and join the fight against the lawsuit.
Arlington’s city council has voted to give Mayor Mike Wissman the authority to hire attorneys and join the fight to make sure the referendum moves forward.