Shelby County School Board Approves Rezoning Plan

(Shelby County) From Millington to Cordova, the boundary lines are now set for Shelby County Schools next year.

The rezoning means big changes for thousands of families. Your child may be going to a new school next year.

The Shelby County School Board unanimously passed a plan to rezone, since the suburbs will start their own districts next year.

The new plan closes about a dozen schools, but the decision on how to draw the lines was not cut and dry.

Superintendent Dorsey Hopson said, “There were probably two or three of our recommendations that parents just didn’t like.”

So changes were made, including converting Woodstock into a high school.

“We didn’t have enough time to properly plan a full high school,” Hopson said. “So, we’re just going to phase it in, add a couple of grades.” It will become 6th through 10th grade next school year, with grades 11 and 12 going to Bolton High School.

Lucy Elementary School will be Kindergarten through 5th grade for the 2014-15 school year and will go up to 8th grade by 2015-16.

Those are just a couple of the changes. To see maps and complete plans for next year, click here.

“We want to be flexible and responsive to parents,” Hopson said.

The board also approved $52 million for capital improvements that will help with school repairs and construction.

“We have some $400 million in capital needs,” Hopson said. “So, it’s a good start.”

That plan will now be sent to the Shelby County Commission for a vote.

The school board did shoot down a request for $300,000 to fund a new roof for Lakeland Elementary School. Some members who voted no said they have to fund the most critical and timely projects first.

What was not approved at the school board meeting Tuesday night was the budget for next school year, in part, because so much is at stake.

Lots of concerned parents showed up to speak their minds about what should and should not be cut.

Some asked the school board to consider starting schools at two different times rather than three.

They pushed for teacher raises and were critical of a proposal to cut the foreign language program.

So the board decided to hold-off.

It was a decision President of the Memphis Teachers Association Mike Williams was happy to see.

“Educating it’s children is a top priority and not just a bi-product of what’s left in the budget,” he said. “This will be funded. Then we will consider Bass Pro and the stadiums and those things, but children first!”

The board will take up the budget again at a specially called meeting next month.