Opening of Suburban Schools’ Not A Given

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(Memphis) A federal judge still hasn’t said if the creation of suburban schools in Shelby County violates the constitution because of racial segregation issues.

County Commission Chairman Mike Ritz says they have to ask the judge to make a decision if they want one.

He doesn’t expect to bring it up anytime soon, but he says it could be brought up anytime between now and the opening of suburban schools.

“We are in this for the long-haul. And we will be successful with municipal school district,” said Collierville Mayor Stan Joyner.

Suburban mayors are fiercely forging ahead with plans for municipal schools.

Mayor Keith McDonald says Bartlett never stopped planning for its own schools even though a federal judge ruled the schools unconstitutional last fall.

Bartlett is using money from the school sales tax increase to pay for the consultants planning the new district.

Even if it`s smooth sailing for suburban schools and they never face a challenge from the county or judge all students will go to unified schools for at least a year.

Germantown Mayor Sharon Goldsworth is optimistic, “We’re encouraging our parents to just hang in there.  We’ve had some degree of assurances that things will move smoothly forward.”

Arlington Mayor Mike Wissman is on the unified school board, and says having the unified school district open this August is the first priority because there’s no other choice, “We have to make sure everyone has a good quality education.  Whether we have fifteen districts or five I just want to make sure everyone has a chance for a good education.”