MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The Unified School Board in Memphis and Shelby County resembles the Hatfields and McCoys these days. The board is anything but unified over the future of its school superintendents.
Next week there will be a closed door meeting to discuss the contract of Memphis City Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash. But some say this is nothing more than a way to make the current county superintendent the man in charge of the system next year.
It's no secret that Dr. Kriner Cash will either get the top job here, or leave. He's said that already. There are plenty who say to let him out of his contract, but that opens up one ugly can of worms.
The two superintendents are very different.
Shelby County's John Aitken is a big folksy guy. He is also known as a man with a temper who doesn't like people who aren't good at what they do.
Dr. Kriner Cash is good at what he does, just ask him. He's also got a temper and is not afraid to show it.
It's Cash the Unified School Board wants to discuss, maybe buying him out of his contract, which expires next year.
Unified School Board Member Martavius Jones doesn't like that.
"I think if we have two superintendents and we have a meeting about one, we should also have a meeting and a discussion about the other," he said.
There have already been indications that some board members want John Aitken to take over as soon as possible.
When there was a possibility that Cash would get a job as superintendent in Charlotte, North Carolina, David Pickler of the board told us that the board wouldn't need to search for any replacements.
"John Aitken, I believe is ready, willing and able to handle responsibilities of merging both districts if, in fact, that is the will of the board," Pickler stated last month.
Jones has favored Cash for the head man of the unified system. Since it's clear that Kriner Cash doesn't stand much of a chance of getting the job, but Jones says if John Aitken wants to be boss he should compete for the job just like anybody else.
"We are looking for a person who can raise student achievement in this county," Jones said, "We're not looking for a Prom King, or somebody that's based upon a popularity contest or a survey."
Superintendent Cash has told ABC 24 News he's more than ready to leave Memphis, and says there is more than a good chance he'll be gone before his contract ends in August of next year.