Suburban Mayors Meet with State

(Bartlett, TN) The battle over the unified school district is far from over.

For the past two days, suburban mayors have met with each other and their attorneys.

They’re trying to figure out what to do after a federal judge struck down their plans to start their own school districts next year.  

“In the end they may not be called municipal schools. They may be called municipal charter schools. They may be called municipal virtual schools. There are so many options out there,” said Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald.

Mayor McDonald says the idea of municipal schools to be opened in the fall of 2013 may be dead, but their goal of providing options for parents other than the unified school system is still very much alive.

McDonald said they’re just trying to figure out how to achieve their goal, “It’s something that is changing day by day as we have these negotiations. We’ve talked to the state. The state is going to talk to the other side. The judge is out of town so we’re doing some preliminary work in the meantime.”

Some of that work could be planning for the possibility of charter schools or virtual schools not bound by the same law that bans municipal schools.

As for the 2013 school year, Mayor McDonald says they can’t do much, but he hopes the unified school board will honor the Transition Planning Commission’s recommendations to freeze district lines for students, teachers and principals so schools basically stay the same.

State Senator Mark Norris tells News Channel 3 at this point, “all options are on the table.”

He says both sides can still come to a compromise on what to do with municipal schools and the legislature can even look at doing away with the 1998 law that banned municipal schools from forming.