First Day Of Merged Shelby County School System

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(Memphis) It’s a new day for education in Shelby County as Memphis City Schools ceases to exist and the two districts merge. Although the merger is official July 1st, school will not begin until August 5th.

“Our biggest concentration right now is to make sure that buses are running on time, that our nutritional services are ready to feed kids at school and our teachers are ready to go,” said school board member Kevin Woods.

Woods, along with school board member Chris Caldwell, said there is work to be done, but they are optimistic this will be a smooth transition.

“Some of the policies that were already in place for Shelby county schools which would be the ones that remain and will be useful,” said Caldwell about some policies school board members have yet to make decisions on.

One of those policies is corporal punishment that will be taken up in a upcoming school board meeting.

But not everyone was optimistic. Keith Williams of the now Memphis and Shelby County Education Association said he has concerns.

“We have not even staffed all of these schools fully. There are still about 200 teachers out there that are waiting to be placed that are tenured, and high performing teachers, and there are several positions that have not been filled,” said Williams.

Williams said there is still a lot of work and he concerned there is not enough staff to get it done.

“As I understand assistant principals, and counselors and financial secretaries will only be back in the school on the 22nd of July and teachers return on the 28th,”said Williams.