Suburban School Advocates Call For End To Lawsuit

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(Memphis) They came with a message for  lawmakers.

A crowd of supporters from Bartlett, Collierville and Germantown showed up at the County Commission chambers  pushing for their own school systems.

"The municipalities have studied the schools and said we have the ability to maintain the current level of service. We are  here to ask the county today to drop the lawsuit. Let us form municipal schools and take that one path to avoiding the terrible, terrible cuts being proposed," said Ken Hoover, an advocate for Germantown Schools.

They've seen the school board plans to cut school staff to fill a 150-million dollar budget hole.

The talk of cutting teachers drew hundreds to a town hall meeting over the weekend.

It's up to the County Commission to fund the school budget.

Getting them to drop the school lawsuit may be tough.

"This tax money is money we could be saving, we could use for the schools. We are talking about spending $300-thousand more to Baker Donnelson and we are talking about having cuts in the schools. What kind of sense does that make?" said County Commissioner Terry Roland.

"The judge has  ruled the process was unconstitutional. He has already ruled that. Now they want to come back and say because of the cost, they want us to drop this lawsuit. What about the constitutionality of those kids who are supposed to attend those schools? What about the right and wrong of the thing? I am not thinking about dropping no lawsuit," said County Commissioner Sidney Chism.

Commissioner Terry Roland says he plans to bring up a resolution to drop the lawsuit in the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, the School Board is preparing  for a special meeting Tuesday, February 12, at 5:30pm  to vote on a preliminary school budget to send  to the Shelby County Commission.