Jones Not a Part of Reported Schools Deal

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Martavius Jones
  • Martavius Jones
Memphis City Schools board member Martavius Jones, author of the charter surrender resolution, said Wednesday he is not party to a reported deal to put off a referendum for a year.

The Commercial Appeal is reporting that a deal is in the works whereby both sides would "stand down" and hold talks for a year, then have a countywide referendum next year on merging the school systems.

The MCS board voted 5-4 in December to surrender its charter, subject to a city-only referendum.

Jones said he had seen the news story but is not part of any deal. The board has a working meeting Thursday but cannot take any action until its next scheduled meeting on January 24th. The Commercial Appeal report, quoting county mayor Mark Luttrell and unnamed sources, said the MCS board would have to vote to rescind its action.

That could happen if newly elected board member Sara Lewis votes with surrender opponents and no other member changes their vote. Lewis replaced Sharon Webb, who voted for surrender.

On Tuesday, Jones was the lone surrender proponent on a panel at the Memphis Education Association membership meeting. Proponents of delay, led by state senator Mark Norris, are trying to gain the upper hand and bring county residents outside of Memphis into a referendum.

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