MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Shelby County Commissioners are flipping and flopping all over the issue of residency requirements for teachers. When schools merge, all Memphis City Schools teachers and employees who were allowed to live outside the county limits would have to move back to Shelby County. But the commission education board made a huge change in their committee meeting Wednesday morning.
Commissioners said they changed their minds, and every Memphis school teacher who lives outside of Shelby County can stay where they are; they'll be grandfathered in. Everybody else, you've got five years to move.
The commissioners kept telling teachers and employees that they're going to have five years to find a place to live in Shelby County. It's the right thing to do, according to Commissioner Walter Bailey - work for Shelby County, live in Shelby County.
"We need to protect our taxpayers. We need to make sure that jobs are provided for them," Bailey said.
Once again, people who work for the Memphis City Schools system asked that they be allowed to live where they live right now, and that new employees would be hired knowing they must live in Shelby County.
"I think those current employees of Memphis City Schools now should be grandfathered in. And then those new employees hired should be required to meet that residency requirement," stated MCS employee Diane Love.
The fight for teachers was winning the day. The committee said they can stay where they are, and all other school employees have five years to move. The reason is simple, said Commissioner Melvin Burgess.
"We need good teachers," he said, "We are short teachers every year."
The change still has to be approved by the full commission.
Commissioners also gave preliminary approval to a plan that would allow you folks to vote on whether Shelby County employees should be forced to live in Shelby County. It would be on the ballot next year.