Commissioners Consider Expanding School Board to 13

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(Memphis) If some Shelby County Commissioners have their way, there will be a 13 member Shelby County School board come September 2013.

Right now there are 23 school board members, but 16 of those members are Memphis City and former Shelby County school board members.

Those 16 jobs will cease to exist when the schools systems merge this coming school year. That would leave only 7 school board members.

“It’s probably going to move those decisions along faster if you have a smaller member board,” said Commissioner Wyatt Bunker about changing the board number.

The debate quickly moved from the size of the school board to whether the county commission should wait and make decision once municipal school district legislation in Nashville has a chance to pass.

“Whether it be a charter school system, a special school system, or municipal school system, I think you need to start looking that way , because that’s the way it’s leaning,” said Commissioner Terry Roland.

“I don’t think that right now is the best time to do it because there is so much that could completely change the complexion of what the school board looked like,” added Commissioner Heidi Shafer.

Commissioners approved the 13 school board member resolution by a 5-4 vote in committee meeting.

The resolution will now be voted on Monday by the commission.

County Attorney Kelly Rayne said federal Judge Hardy Mays did want to review changes to the school board, but it’s unlikely that they can meet before Monday’s vote.

“There is no reason to wait for Nashville to make a decision about something that we need to take care of here locally,” added Commissioner Sidney Chism.