(Germantown) The fight over who will control certain Shelby County school buildings has hundreds of students caught in the middle.
Shelby County Schools wants to keep control of four schools in the suburbs.
Three of them in Germantown and that city’s mayor isn’t happy about the plan.
Mayor Sharon Goldsworthy of Germantown doesn’t disagree that Shelby County Schools owns the buildings in her city but she does disagree with them taking over those buildings and the education of the children that attend those schools.
The city of Germantown says it wants to cause as little disruption to students when it opens its municipal school district.
They want to continue to educate all the children who attend those schools, even those living outside the Germantown city limits.
“The proposal that is being advanced is disappointing to us,” say Goldsworthy.
Mayor Sharon Goldsworthy says parents who live in the city limits and those who live in unincorporated areas are concerned about any change.
“One of the advantages for us to continue to educate the kids here is the kids wouldn’t move. They’re in our schools. They’re already there,” said Goldsworthy.
However, Shelby County Schools says a majority of the kids at Germantown High and Germantown Middle live outside Germantown’s city limits and have already been through uniting the two districts.
They don’t want them to go through another transition.
“It brings certainty to parents and families,” said Chris Caldwell, Shelby County School Board.
We asked Goldsworthy her response to that.
She said, “What we’ve offered, we’ll educate the kids. Period. I don’t know how you achieve more certainty than that,” said Goldsworthy.
Under the plan Shelby County Schools is offering to educate students of Germantown residents who want to stay at the school.
Those who don’t can go to the five schools Germantown could run in the future.
Goldsworthy said, “I think there is a lot of confusion right now about the implications of this.”
Parents are the most confused.
“If it’s a Germantown school I feel like it needs to be part of the Germantown system,” said Jennifer Fisher, Germantown.
Other parents are disgusted over all the changes, already.
“We’ll probably stick to private if I can afford it,” said Aneta Marbry.
The possible takeover has meant a flood calls at Germantown city hall. Mayor Goldsworthy cautions this is just a proposal.
Dropping students who live outside Germantown city limits would mean a much smaller municipal district.
Enrollment would drop from about 8,000 to 5,500 students.
Although there would be some savings with fewer students to teach and buildings to maintain, federal funds would be cut.
Mayor Goldsworthy said she also likes how educating students from the unincorporated areas would make Germantown schools more diverse.