It was reassuring and exciting that Memphis Mayor A C Wharton and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell have stepped forward with a process that ensures calm, thoughtful decision-making if the referendum passes in February. The following is what they released at today’s press event:
City of Memphis and Shelby County transition plan for Memphis City Schools
Draft legislation Overview
Note: This Transition Plan shall go into effect should the voters of Memphis decide to relinquish their school charter.
A quick overview of the proposed process:
- A majority of voters agree to dissolve Memphis City Schools.
- This proposed legislation would then be the governing document and blueprint for the transition and consolidated school implementation.
- The Mayor of Memphis and the Mayor of Shelby County would appoint a transition team to develop the details of consolidation.
- The Transition Team’s final report would be sent to the Shelby County School Board and the Shelby County Commission for required implementation.
Members of the Transition Team
The members of the Transition Team shall be loosely based on the membership of a Charter Commission (which is created when a city and county government are merging) and shall be appointed by the Mayor of Memphis and the Mayor of Shelby County except one (1) appointed by the Shelby Legislative Delegation. The Transition Team shall appoint their own Chair so to conduct the meetings in an orderly fashion.
The proposed eleven (11) members of the Transition Team for Memphis City Schools / Shelby County Schools:
– Mayor of Memphis (or designee)
– Mayor of Shelby County (or designee)
– A county commissioner appointed by the Mayor of Shelby County
– A Memphis City Council member appointed by the Mayor of Memphis
– Two (2) citizens at-large appointed by the Mayor of Memphis
Two (2) citizens at-large appointed by the Mayor of Shelby County
– A member of the Memphis City School Board appointed by the Mayor of Memphis
– A member of the Shelby County School Board appointed by the Mayor of Shelby County
– A member of the Shelby County legislative delegation appointed by the members of the Shelby County Legislative delegation
Resources to the Transition Team
The transition team shall be given appropriate resources to conduct their work including staff persons and attorneys. The city and county shall equally share the costs of the resources for the commission.
The Mayors shall appoint the Transition Team within 30 days of the voters deciding to relinquish the Memphis City School Charter and the transition team shall meet within 15 days of being appointed.
The Transition Team shall have 120 days after their first meeting to draft, approve and submit the implementation plan to the Shelby County Commission and Shelby County School Board.
The Transition Team shall have broad authority as it pertains to merging the two school districts. The authority shall include:
1 – District Governance
2 – Infrastructure
3 – School Board Membership and District Size
The Transition Team shall not have authority on issues of budgeting which shall remain with the Shelby County Commission but may make recommendations.