#MCS Following the Media – 2/9/11

This morning the State House is scheduled to meet at 9am to consider passage of SB0025/HB0051. Based on reports from Nashville, road conditions are pretty bad which could deter some members from making it by that time. Still, based on my understanding of House rules, once enough staff arrives and they get a quorum they will proceed.

The state site shows two new amendments that have been offered. One would add the City Mayor to the appointing and ex-officio list, ultimately increasing the size of the board to 23. The other would remove the provisions that allow for the creation of Municipal and Special School Districts.

Neither of the amendments have much of a chance of passing. Actually, I’m kind of surprised that more amendments haven’t been offered, but I’m not all that familiar with any prohibitions on the number of amendments that might be offered based on current House rules.

Thanks to the snow I’ll be watching from home. I’ll give an update as soon as the House has completed their actions this morning.

In other news, the Memphis City Council is scheduled to meet today at 5pm to consider the resolution to accept the surrender of the MCS charter. At this point there’s been no indication they won’t meet due to the weather conditions, but there’s plenty of time for that to change between now and 5pm.

Yesterday, the Memphis Daily News published an article describing the challenges facing any future action local governments may take on the school issue. There are a lot of open questions. Jackson Baker at the Memphis Flyer also took a look at the challenges, though through a slightly different lens.

There is no doubt that there is a lot of uncertainty about the road ahead. As I’ve said over and over, there is not much settled law on how different actions would be received by the state or the courts. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Yesterday, the County Commission got in the act, passing a resolution voicing their disapproval of the state legislative action and hiring outside legal counsel, Leo Bearman of Baker Donelson fame. The hiring of outside counsel was agreed to thanks to support for state legislative efforts voiced by County Mayor Mark Luttrell. It was successfully argued that the County Attorney’s office could not independently represent both the administration and the County Commission on the issue when they are in disagreement. Makes sense to me.

I’ve had the opportunity to meet and talk with Mr. Bearman. He will be a great asset on this issue going forward.

According to my watch it’s about 10 to 9, so I’ll stop here and make any additional thoughts in an update post that will follow the State House session. You can watch the session by following this link and selecting “view event” on “House Session – 4th legislative day”.

Timing Increasingly a Factor in Schools Standoff
Next Schools Step Murky After Thursday Vote
Shelby County Commission panel votes to oppose school consolidation legislation pending in Nashville
Speaker Harwell says she is proud of reducing Memphis’s influence over education policy
Luttrell: Amendment Rumors in Schools Standoff
County Commission Trudges Forward on School Merger Plan
School Merger Vote Still Deciding Factor
County Commission Votes to Oppose State School Merger Legislation
Shelby County commission debates hiring independent law firm
Snow may cancel Bartlett forum
Tenn. House likely to approve bill delaying Memphis school consolidation
Alternate Realities

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