Shelby Commissioners More Forward with Residency Requirement for MCS

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(Memphis) In a rare move, Shelby County commissioners are all agreeing when it comes to unified schools.

Wednesday, they all voted in favor of telling Memphis City Schools employees they must move to Shelby County within the next five years or lose their job.

“Believe it or not this county commission came together and actually did the right thing,” said ordinance author and Commissioner Terry Roland.

Committee members revised Commissioner Terry Roland's suggestion of only giving Memphis City School employees a year to move into the county to five years.

Right now, all other Shelby County employees must live in the county.

“There`s going to be people who lose their job in the merger.  And we've got to make sure the people who keep the jobs are in the county,” said Roland.

Commissioner Melvin Burgess wanted all MCS employees to be grandfathered in to the county residency policy so the new unified School district can get the best possible teachers.

That didn't make sheriff’s deputies happy.

They voted and told commissioners if teachers got off the hook, they wanted to be exempt from the residency restrictions too.

Burgess eventually changed his vote agreeing with Roland and the other commissioners when they added an exemption to the policy for teachers in critical need areas like special education, “We need to inspire and attract good teachers.  We have good teachers in Memphis and Shelby County but we also have good teachers elsewhere."

Roland says there are about 1500 MCS employees who live outside Shelby Count, and the full commission will take up the ordinance next week.