Following the Media – 1/13/11

Today was yet another in a long list of confusing days for those following the current events regarding the MCS situation.

The three big topics that dominated the news today were: Legislation proposed by State Sen. Mark Norris, a “compromise” between MCS and SCS, and an impending election date.

On the legislative front, Norris, who filed his bill yesterday, had a first reading today. His intention was to have three readings before a two to three week re-organizing break that starts most sessions, sending the bill to the Governor’s desk effectively before the new Governor is sworn in. Late in the afternoon, after reports emerged that the MCS Board would consider a compromise, Norris pulled back from his expedited timeline.

As for that compromise, it’s still out there. As Wendi Thomas notes in her article yesterday and Smart City Memphis affirms, the deal is a bad deal for Memphis, effectively giving it no comfort for anything but the uncertain status quo that brought us to this issue in the first place, and weakening the bargaining position of the City voters by removing our ability to vote on a system that everyone agrees belongs to the people of the City of Memphis.

Later in the evening, the MCS board voted 5-3 (with Whalum, Williams, Warren, Mallot and Lewis voting Aye, and Robinson, Jones, and Gatewood voting no, Hart was absent) to consider the compromise at an upcoming meeting. The date of that meeting is yet to be determined. While some see this vote as an indication that the Board will pull back from its previous position of a charter referendumm based on the vote count, this seems unlikely. In order to rescind the previous question, the 2/3 of the board would have to agree. I don’t see a 6th vote on the body currently. Then the Board would have to approve the compromise measure.

This process is a little confusing, and I’m currently seeking additional opinions on the issue.

Finally there’s the impending election. The next meeting of the Shelby County Election Commission is January 19th, though the purpose of that meeting is unclear as the agenda on the site isn’t downloading. I’ll be seeking clarification from the Election Commission later today on the purpose of the meeting.

Below is a list of all the articles I found on the issue today.

Wendi C. Thomas: Norris’ stance bad deal for city, good for count
No Surrender
A Possible Compromise, Lawsuit and Legislation Brewing In School Debate
A See-Saw Struggle
Elections attorney says referendum on Memphis-Shelby schools merger to be held in 45-60 days
MEA on the charter surrender
Voters to Decide on School Consolidation
March Charter Surrender Referendum Agreement Made
New plan considered in merger talks
Charter surrender referendum to be held in 45-60 days
Chancellor Evans Approves Consent Decree for Charter-Surrender Referendum
“Council Call” to Answer Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools Questions
A call to keep the focus on the children
Court and/or compromise
School Election to be Held in 45 to 60 Days
Charter surrender referendum to be held in 45-60 days
Compromise agreement could slow down charter surrender process
School Referendum Election Date in Flux
Memphis City Schools board votes to meet again, consider countywide referendum proposal
City Vote Set In Schools Merger Battle
Referendum On City School Charter Back On
Campaigns For And Aganist School Merger Begin
TN Senate majority leader’s next step in school battle hinges on compromise
Citizens for Better Education Spokesman on Referendum Election Decision
Latest From Norris & Wharton on Schools
Some Voters Saying They Can’t Make Informed Decision
MCS Board to Review Charter Surrender Compromise
Carol Chumney on Consolidation Crossroads
Memphis City Schools Considers Shelby County Consolidation Counter Offer
It Gets Curiouser: MSC Board Votes to Meet and Consider New Stand-Down Plan from County
Memphis City School Board Considers Consolidation Compromise

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