Commission Says Suburban Schools Resegregate Students

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(Memphis)  There’s been a reversal in the Millington sales tax increase to fund its own school system.

A state chancellor decided today several votes were illegally cast by non-Millington residents.

That’s good news for supporters of municipal schools because the county commission now says it may not be able to fund them.

“It may not be the intent to segregate them, but if the effect is to segregate them there could be a violation,” said Commission Chairman Mike Ritz.

Ritz said the commission added an amendment to their lawsuit reminding a federal judge they have to fund the schools, but they can't fund them if they are segregated.

“If we're going to fund the schools and they are a segregated school system, then later we can be punished by anyone who complains about that.  We'd have to pay the penalties,” said Ritz.

The makeup of each suburban area is different. 

According to the state department of education, only 13% of Collierville High School is African-American while 80% is white. 

In contrast Millington High School is 56% African-American and 37% white. 

Compare both of those suburban schools to Manassas High in Memphis where 99% is African-American to 1% white. 

Currently, Memphis City Schools are 87% African-American.

Those numbers do not take into account children in the community who go to private schools or children who attend those schools, but live in the county.

 It will be up to the county school board to decide if students attending a suburban school, but who live in the county, will get to attend those schools.  

In January, a federal hearing will be held to determine if the creation of municipal schools segregates the county. 

If the judge says it does segregate, the schools will be in violation.