#MCS Following the Media – 2/13/11-2/15/11

Today is the first day of Early Voting in the MCS Charter Referendum. Today through Friday the only location open is at the Election Commission, 157 Poplar Ave., Suite 121, from 10am to 7pm.

On Saturday the rest of the early voting locations open. You can see a full list of places and times here.

Much of the coverage has been on the chaotic nature of everything. One article noted that there were 9 government bodies involved in the issue. Of course, they left out the Federal Court system, the US Department of Education, and the US Department of Justice. What’s more, state courts could be called into service on this issue, bringing the number to a lucky 13.

The County Commission got into the mix, by passing on first reading, a change to the Shelby County School Board that would temporally increase the body from 7 members to 27 members. Two more readings are required before the body’s size increases, and the Commission is already accepting applications – polish up those resumes.

Here’s where to send them –

School board candidates can contact Steve Summerall by e-mail at steve.summerall@ shelbycountytn.gov, by phone at 545-4307 or by mail to Summerall’s attention at 160 N. Main Street, Suite 450, Memphis, TN 38103.

The size of the Unified Board reflects the current number of people represented in the current makeup, and applying that district size in the areas not currently covered, though the County district has disputed the Commission’s power to change the makeup of the board.

Expect this in a court near you very soon.

The Commercial Appeal has started a series of question answering articles, in the face of what many are calling a difficulty in getting information.

Personally, I see a lot of information out there, but not much of it really delves deep enough into the issues, including my own coverage.

This is a big topic that really requires more eyes than the four I have available. The media coverage on this has been primarily focused on the day to day events, which is what they do. The problem for viewers is if they miss an episode, they may be just far enough behind to not get where the plot is going. Add on to that multiple story lines and you’ve got lots of opportunity for confused voters.

To that end, the Memphis City School Board has embarked on an education campaign to help voters understand the issues involved as voters head to the polls.

Just a quick editorial note: Over the next few days I’m going to have to slow my coverage down to every other day or so due to previous commitments and class assignments. I should be back in full force on Monday or Tuesday of next week.

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Meeting Set for School Merger
Players abound, but so far no captain emerges in school merger

February 14th, 2011

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, County Mayor Mark Luttrell call for unity in schools debate
Schools Suit Could Find Judge Soon
Governor Haslam Defends Signing Norris Consolidation Bill to Law
County Votes to Expand School Board
Heidi Shafer taking interesting stance on schools
Politicians Playing Nice on Valentine’s Day in Schools Showdown
‘Unified School Board’ Resolution
Commission Adds Schools Contingencies to Growing Pile
MCS and MCS Board Still Exist, But for How Long?
City schools board to educate public on charter
Shelby County Commission sets stage for expanded board

February 15th, 2011

Will transportation be provided for students if Shelby County Schools takes in Memphis City Schools?
If the suburbs create a special school district, how would that affect Memphis taxes and funding for public education of Memphis students?
Can Shelby County Schools still become a special school district if voters approve the referendum?
Who’s in charge if Memphians vote to transfer authority of MCS to SCS?
Labor, civil rights, faith groups rally against city-county school merger
Early Voting For School Charter Starts Tomorrow
Voting Begins as Schools Contingency Planning Continues
Early Voting Begins in Schools Consolidation
Groups Join to Oppose School Merger
Dr. Cash Addresses Teachers’ Concerns
Memphis City Attorney Welcomes School Lawsuit
Merger Debate: Commissioner Walter Bailey and Reverend Dwight Montgomery
Teachers’ Union President on Merger Timeline
School Consolidation Debates, Forums and Town Hall Meetings
Finding School Consolidation Information Not So Easy
A Communications Gap and a Probing for Answers
Mid-South Tea Party to host schools debate in Bartlett
Debate rages over Memphis-Shelby County schools as voting begins today

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