School Merger May be Overseen by Court Master

School Merger May be Overseen by Court Master

A federal judge received names of people who might act as the court-ordered master watching over the Memphis-Shelby County school merger.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - A federal judge received names of people who might act as the court-ordered master watching over the Memphis-Shelby County school merger.

The judge says the merger is going to happen in August, no excuses. The only problem is, the Unified School Board doesn't seem to want to have anything to do with the court appointed master.

Board members decided not to recommend anybody as their choice for a court appointed master in this case. Don't get the wrong idea, they say. They'll do whatever the judge tells them to do, they're just not going to volunteer.

All this issue seems to revolve around is suits. Lawsuits, business suits - no zoot suits yet, but who knows. Toss in the judicial robe of Federal Judge Samuel Mays and now you're talking.

Move it, he's saying to Unified School Board members, and be prepared to deal with a guy who will make decisions if you don't.

Kevin Woods and all the other board members voted against taking any part in the court appointed master issue. Now it's not like they're giving the big judicial middle finger to Judge Mays, Woods says everybody knows what they've got to do.

"We've been doubted before and we expect to prove him wrong. The board decided to not make an opinion about it. It did not mean we didn't want to participate or would not cooperate. But we basically left the decision about it to the judge," he said. "We were elected to do the work of the district. We were elected to make tough decisions and to merge this district. So I think the board's position last night was, we may not be moving at the price the public might thing we ought to be moving, but we think we can get there."

If you're wondering when some of those tough decisions will be made, they claim within the next month.

"I'm not concerned," said board member Betty Mallott. "I know that there are pretty well four major difficult decisions that we're facing that were presented by the planning commission. I think we could have made those decisions by now. It's not too late to make them."

One of those four decisions includes finding somebody to be the superintendent. They want that person on the job by May.

The Shelby County Commission has made two recommendations for the court master, a retired judge and a FedEx executive. It's ultimately up to Judge Mays who will serve.

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