Man Who Pushed For Unified District Says He Would Do It Again

Man Who Pushed For Unified District Says He Would Do It Again

The man who pushed hardest for Memphis City Schools to go out of business says he'd do it again, considering what the situation was in 2010.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - The man who pushed hardest for Memphis City Schools to go out of business says he'd do it again, considering what the situation was in 2010.

School board member Martavius Jones says the school charter surrender was needed to keep the state from allowing special school districts in Shelby County.

“I would do it if, considering what we were facing at the time, what we were facing is the threat of special school districts. That, regardless of what people say about this decision, if that was not a specter out there, there would not have been the initiative to do it,” Jones said.

Martavius Jones makes no apologies.

If you're old enough to remember a comedian names Flip Wilson, Martavius Jones can take a page from his script and say the county made him do it.

Since March of 2011, when voters approved giving up the charter, the merger has developed its own personality.

“It has spurred some fear that I think is unnecessary. And a lot of things have taken place as a result of that fear. I would think a lot of fear is what sparked the municipal drives, and the drive to have their own school districts,” Jones said

So basically a fear of special districts, led Memphis City School leaders to give up the charter. And starting next year there will be school districts in the suburbs.

But until then, the merged school system is groaning along.

Things in the classroom are ok.

“For the most part there hasn't been major disruptions when we're talking about teachers, the principals…the people who really do the hard work in the school level,” Jones said.

There has been trouble with school bus routes.

“Transportation is an issue we have every single year. I would probably say there may have been issues not reported when a lot of times the county school system would do some redistricting, setting up new boundaries as far as attendance zones are concerned,” Jones said.

Local 24 was told school administrators worked this past weekend to try and iron out the problems with the transportation system.
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