Unified Board Bogged Down with Petty Issues

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(Memphis) Here’s the homework the unified school district still must do before this summer's merger: pick a superintendent, come up with a budget, decide the best way to teach children, and if the districts should even merge.

But instead, some would say they're spending their time fighting like school kids.

“If it's important to that board member, I think it's important that they be heard. And I think it's important for the chairman to keep the meeting on task,” said Unified school board member Kevin Woods.

Woods says the 23 members on the mega-board all have constituents who want their voices heard, so they are forced to go over what some would consider petty issues like what the school system will be called.

Patrice Robinson is from the old MCS board and says everyone should get a say.

This rubbed some people the wrong way because the Shelby County School system already has a name, and MCS is becoming part of its district.

“The timing was maybe in question for many board members but I do think her voice should be heard as to why that is something we should look at,” said Woods.

Right now, there are 23  people on the unified school board and this summer when the merged schools officially open their doors all the old Memphis city school board members and Shelby county school board members will leave, taking with them about a dozen different opinions simplifying the decision making process.

“There's no fighting alright. That's 23 big heads that are going to have their own mindsets and own opinions,” said MCS parent Lamarcus Powell.

Powell says it’s time the board move past petty issues.

“The leaders need to get together and they need to come to some mutual agreements right. That should be first and foremost,” said Powell.