School Merger Plan Would Require MCS Employees to Move or be Fired

(Memphis) Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland is introducing an ordinance that would make Memphis City School employees follow residency requirements once the county and city school systems merge.

There are about 1500 Memphis City Schools employees who live outside of Shelby County that will be violating the county residency police once they become county employees.

Roland doesn’t like any talk of grandfathering.

Those employees had no residency requirement under MCS.

“You’ve got 8,000 county employees that have to live under one policy. But you’ve got 1500 non-residents that you’re going to tell can live under a different policy?,” said Roland.

Roland’s plan give MCS employees a year to move to Shelby County or find a new job.

He calls his plan a compromise because some county employees say once Memphis teachers are employed by the county, they must follow the same rules.

Some Memphis City Schools teachers are arguing it wasn’t their choice to be taken over by Shelby County when their school board voted to dissolve so they shouldn’t lose their job over it.

“You know what my response to them is? We didn’t either. The people in the county didn’t have a vote in it. So if they live out of the county I have no sympathy,” said Roland.

Benjamin Booker is a parent and thinks Shelby County should bring in the best teachers no matter where they’re from, “If the children are learning and the teachers are concerned about the children’s learning then I don’t think it should be a problem.”

Roland says if that’s true then it should also apply to fire fighters and deputies, “When this county goes busted because of the school deal you remember I’m the one who said first don’t do this it’s a rush. It’s a hostile takeover. It’s going to break the county and that’s where we’re headed.”

Roland says he hopes his ordinance will force commissioners to look at the residency policy as a whole and consider throwing it out, because in the long run, it could cost Shelby County good teachers and other employees.

He will introduce his plan at the commission meeting Wednesday.

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