School Board Discusses Name Change and Special Master

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(Memphis) The people charged with merging Memphis and Shelby County schools met for the first time since a federal judge said he's worried about their progress.

The largest school merger in U.S. history is just four months away.

Crucial decisions remain.

Judge Mays is so frustrated he's close to appointing someone to make decisions for the school board.

The biggest part of the school board meeting Tuesday night was spent talking about a special master. That is someone the judge would appoint to move the merger process along.

The board talked about it for about an hour before deciding it didn't want one.

Then the conversation turned to the new district's name.

"Allow our communities to move forward to make a decision to preserve the history of our community. A name is not that difficult," Commissioner Patricia Robinson said.

Robinson wanted a resolution to be passed so the community can vote on renaming the new school district.  She and Commissioner Martavious Jones wanted Memphis added to the name of the district somehow.

Others said now is not the time.

"This will be a great issue to take up and take out to the community and i stand by that. But I think the only way Memphis is a loser here is we fail to educate the children of Memphis.   So we'll get about the business of the district and we'll get about the name later," Commissioner Kevin Woods said.

After a lot of debate most commissioners agreed with Woods that this is something that can wait until the next school year because they have a judge watching their every move.

"If he finds that this board is not able to make hard decisions he will step in and take action. We're debating about whether we are going to appoint a special master then we spend another hour debating what we are going to call the district. We have to get about the business of the district or we're going to lose the right to make that decision," Commissioner David Pickler said.

While the board voted that they didn't want that special master whether they like it or not a judge can still appoint one.