(Nashville, TN) Municipal schools in Shelly County are one step closer to a reality.
Earlier today the Senate Education Committee unanimously approved a bill that lifts the state ban on municipal schools.
If the bill is signed into law it will remove the ban on municipal schools and allow the suburbs to start their own districts.
“Along with all the other reforms that we’ve enacted and we are nurturing through the system this seems like one of the most practical,” said Senator Mark Norris who is sporting the bill.
Norris stood before the senate education committee and said this bill lifting the state wide ban on municipal schools will improve education, “We need to look for alternatives. Bigger is not necessarily better. With larger systems costs go up, and go up.”
Norris says what makes this year’s bill different than last years version, that was struck down by a judge, is it applies to more communities and includes fewer restrictions.
“We think we can give more parental choice, better prospects for neighborhood schools and higher achievement. That’s what existing municipal schools have demonstrated,” said Norris.
The bill is getting bipartisan support including democratic Senator Reginald Tate from Memphis, “I thought to myself it was probably more profitable for Memphis being the population that it is for the city to run its own in spite of what was going on legally.”
The house approved the bills counterpart in their chamber Tuesday.
Arlington Mayor Mike Wissman tells me if these bills are signed into law people in the suburbs could vote to approve municipal school districts as early as this summer with schools to open as early as fall of 2014.