MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As if we didn’t already have enough contentious issues pitting Memphis against the Tennessee legislature, another unresolved one it about to come to a head. It involves the dispute over control of three Germantown public schools that currently are owned and operated by the Memphis-Shelby County School district.
Germantown agreed to give up control of the so-called 3 G schools when it opened its own municipal school district in 2014. The cynic in me says the wealthy suburb was so eager to get away from Memphis schools after the merger of the city and county districts it gave up fighting for Germantown High, Middle, and Elementary, without thinking about the long-term implications.
Since then, Germantown leaders have been desperately trying to get the schools – or least the school property – back. But MSCS has refused to budge because students from outside Germantown attend those schools.
Now the legislature to moving forward with House and Senate bills that would eventually force MSCS to cede the three schools to Germantown. And a court fight is virtually certain.
This is just one more example of how our divisive politics hurts other issues – in this case, education. The political leaders say this is all about the school kids, but sometimes that’s hard to believe. And since the powers that be cannot reach an agreement, it will likely be up to the courts to sort it out.