The “Agreement” and Other Sundries

So, yesterday was a hot one. I’ll get to all that in a minute, but first I want to deal with some of the sundries.

First of all, I’ve been working my fingers off trying to keep the information and media page up to date. There are so many stories, and so many repeat stories but I think I’m catching all of the duplicates.

In the coming days I hope to set up a better system for the media reports. The page, as it stands now, is too unweildy to be truly usable. Basically there will be a post for every day with a short summary. These posts will be indexed on a page, in reverse chronological order. Hopefully this will make it more user friendly, and easier to stay up to date with the most recent information rather than scrolling to the end of the current page.

With classes starting tomorrow, I may or may not be able to get this done by the end of the weekend, but I fear that if I don’t get it done by then, it’ll be too far gone to ever catch up. So we’ll see.

There are several new tweeters and bloggers that are covering this event. I haven’t found all of them yet, but I have linked many of them on the current information page, either by naming them, or linking to individual articles in the media links. This list is not comprehensive. In fact, I know I’ve left several off. If you have a blog, Facebook page, or twitter feed that’s talking about the situation, please leave a comment on any post and I’ll do my best to include it. The information stream is more like a firehose than a water fountain as Lindsey points out at The Memphis Blog. Keeping up has become increasingly more difficult, and time consuming.

Now to the meat of the matter…

There were three big events yesterday (as far as I can remember), and by the time this gets published there will probably be another one.

Either late Monday, or early Tuesday, depending on how you look at it, news of a bill that’s being fast tracked by State Sen. Mark Norris emerged. I took the bill head on and called it what I see it to be, a joke. Norris held off on filing the bill until late last night. Sources in Nashville note that both the House and Senate will be in session through Saturday, so there’s still a possibility that Norris will attempt to break tradition and ram this thing through.

This morning on his Facebook page Mayor A C Wharton released a statement regarding this issue and the schools in general.

Glad to see that the Mayor is on board to protect our right of self-determination.

Then, just as I was enjoying an early lunch…a Kwik Check gyro (yum), news of a potential agreement emerged. I contacted several people more connected to the situation than myself and none of them knew anything about it as MCS Commissioner Jones noted here. I did get one funny quote, though it was put on the twitters, not explicitly given to me. The actual terms of the deal emerged later in the evening.

Honestly, after reading the “deal” I don’t see how any member of the MCS board could, in good conscience, vote for it. Even if you’re opposed to the idea of unifying the schools in this manner, or at all, the notion of removing options from your quiver of arrows makes about as much sense as plucking out an eye because you don’t like what you’re looking at. This deal is a non-starter. Go take a look at Smart City Memphis for their take on the deal.

Finally, near the end of the day, Citizens for Better Education filed a lawsuit asking a state judge to order a vote on the referendum, despite attempts by State Elections Coordinator Mark Goins to delay or set up some additional barriers to the vote. In the writ, they asked for an expedited hearing. There are a lot of variables in this thing, including which judge is assigned to the case. However, no matter what the ruling, it will be appealed…probably.

The next MCS Board meeting is on the 24th, which means that if a judge rules by then, a couple of things may be decided that could have an impact on the future outcome of the MCS situation.

First, the HD-98 election will be decided. If Commissioner Stephanie Gatewood wins, she will be the defacto winner of the General, to be held in March as there is no Republican running. However, she cannot be certified or sworn in before the March 8th vote is certified, so that may or may not have any effect on the situation. However, if this thing drags on beyond the March 8th threshold, all bets are off. There’s no telling what could happen in this scenario.

The “agreement” that’s been bandied about today, will probably be discussed. In order for the surrender resolution to be rescinded, which is required to effectuate the agreement, there must be agreement by 2/3 of the board, Which makes the anti-unity folks at least one vote short. Also, if a Chancery Judge has already ruled and an election scheduled, it would effectively be too late per Robert’s Rules of Order.

That’s about all my brain can handle for the day. It’s been a long one. I’ll have more tomorrow. You may start seeing some backdated posts in your rss feeds. If so, that’s just me trying to get the media page back together. Don’t be alarmed. It will, however, take me several days to sort this out so please pardon the dust.

Here are the media reports for 1/12/11

More questions than answers at teachers’ union forum on Memphis schools charter surrender
Memphis City Schools charter bill on fast track in Tenn. legislature
Memphis School Charter Lawsuit Delayed
Mayor Wharton wants citizens of Memphis to decide school charter issue
Countywide vote, year delay is compromise on table between Memphis, Shelby school boards
Commission Clashes On Consolidated School Board Planning
Memphis would still be represented in merged school system, board member says
SCS, MCS superintendents speaking regularly about possible merger
No Lawsuits as Post-Vote Control Battle Begins
County Commission Passes Resolutions on School Charter
Commissioners debate make-up of combined school board
Haslams says lessons from Knoxville consolidation not applicable to Memphis
Lawsuit Filed as Norris Submits Legislation in Schools Standoff
Group files suit seeking order for Memphis school referendum
Fears Rise About Combining School Districts
Local Clergy Look to Get Involved in MCS Charter Surrender
Group Files Lawsuit to Set School Merger Referendum Vote
Mayors Won’t Confirm Likelihood of School Deal
Jones Not a Part of Reported Schools Deal
School Leaders Keep In Touch
County Commission Plans For School Merger
Possible compromise in school charter debate could delay vote
School Consolidation Compromise?

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