Germantown Pitches to Retain All Its Schools, but the School Board Says No

Superintendent Hopson leaves only faint hope that the suburb, deserted by its suburban allies, could regain three institutions via negotiation.

Posted by Jackson Baker on Mon, Oct 28, 2013 at 10:49 PM


Germantown Mayor Sharon Goldsworthy before the School Board"

Most unusually for a school board meeting — of whatever jurisdiction — the main drama was not delayed by curricular or procedural minutiae at a jam-packed business session Monday night. Germantown, whose officials and citizens showed up en masse at the Coe administration building on Avery, saw the seven-member Shelby County Schools board turn down its plea for retaining the three schools siphoned from it in superintendent Dorsey Hopson’s new school plan, or at least for more time to discuss it.

Referring to debate on the matter as “a conversation just begun," Mayor Sharon Goldsworthy, said, "We respectfully ask, even urge, that you delay a definitive decision about the schools within the city of Germantown.” She thereby led a parade of several fellow townsfolk in the board’s opening public period, which also featured spokespersons for other causes, including the rescue of South Side High School from the state’s ASD system, over which the board had no control, and for a K-through-8 expansion at Barrett’s Chapel, over which it did.

The Barrett’s Chapel folks would get their way, those from South Side couldn’t, and those from Germantown didn’t, despite some eloquent testifiers, including the young son of Tim Coulter, who followed his father with the affectingly simple line, “Please don’t take my school” (an echo of the South Siders’ own plea, “Please don’t take our school away”).

40-year leases for each municipality

After the public period was over, there were reports — from board chairman Kevin Woods, from the chairs of various committees, and finally the crucial one, the superintendent’s report, delivered in Hopson’s flat and measured phrasing.

After a typically understated reference to the “extraordinary level of angst” that had afflicted all sectors of the county during the school-merger controversy, followed by a brief statement of the good news for the Barrett’s Chapel contingent, Hopson detailed, city by city, his plan for the six incorporated suburbs that plan to have their own municipal school systems in August 2014.

Beginning with Arlington and proceeding through Bartlett, Lakeland, Millington, Germantown, and Collierville, Hopson read out his formula — a 40-year lease on terms to be negotiated for county school buildings currently within the cities’ municipal limits, and with each city responsible for both defaults and damages.

In only two cases was the number of leasable properties less than the number within those limits. As had been revealed in Hopkins’ bombshell announcement last week, Shelby County Schools intends to maintain responsibility for Lucy Elementary School in a community newly annexed by Millington and for three namesake institutions in Germantown — Germantown High School, Germantown Middle School, and Germantown Elementary School.

As Hopson and other SCS spokespersons explained last week, the choice of institutions to be retained was dictated by the system’s decision — for financial and various logistical reasons — to provide public education for the unincorporated areas of Shelby County and for the school-age populations in those areas. The four institutions chosen all contained majorities of pupils living in the unincorporated areas. (In an interview, though, Goldsworthy would contest that fact for Germantown Elementary.)

“In a nutshell,” said Hopson, “I have authorized myself and Ms. [Valerie] Speakman [the board attorney]” as negotiators with the suburbs.

"In the north...people like this deal...."

First board member to address the Hopson resolution was David Pickler, representative of Germantown and Collierville. Pickler expressed himself as “deeply troubled” by a plan that had not been submitted to an “open, fair, and public conversation” but had been engineered with “a very specific guiding of what the outcome had to be.”

Pickler then made a formal motion for the board to delay voting on the plan, pending “a more thought-out public process.”

Board chairman Woods asked if there was a second, and there was none — a fact causing several of the Germantown advocates in the audience, who had applauded Pickler lustily, to gasp or cry out in disbelief.

The reason would be made obvious when, after a ritual endorsement of “a very thoughtful resolution” by Memphis board member Teresa Jones, Bartlett member David Reaves, in a regretful but firm manner, lowered the boom. “In the north…most of the people like this deal,” he said. “I sympathize, but I represent the north.”

In a concession to Germantown sensiibilties, Reaves did move to divide the board’s voting on the plan six ways, city by city. That motion failed 5-2, with only Reaves and Pickler voting for it.

Before the board’s vote on the Hopson resolution, former board chairman Billy Orgel, who had been honored earlier for his service during the board’s 23-member transitional phase, said he thought the Hopson plan would hasten a mutually agreeable resolution of the whole merger controversy. (Unmentioned Monday night was the fact of the ongoing County Commission litigation against the municipalities’ school plans, still unsettled.)

Optional status for Germantown schools

Chairman Kevin Woods then posed a series of rhetorical questions to Hopson and attorney Speakman, addressing potentially contentious parts of the plan. That gave the superintendent the opportunity to note that the district would treat all three Germantown institutions as optional schools and that the staff and teachers at each would likely remain in place. For her part, Speakman affirmed that it was by no means unprecedented for schools within municipalities to function as parts of extraneous systems.

Pickler won one tenuous concession from Hopson — the superintendent’s somewhat tepid acknowledgement that theoretically the board, during negotiation, could consider revising the question of Germantown’s schools. The board then voted on Hopson’s plan, endorsing it 5-1-1, with Pickler the only no vote and Reaves politely abstaining.

In a colloquy with reporters later on, Goldsworthy talked of convening her lawyers and trying again to get public discussions on modification of the Hopson plan. She had no ready answer when asked if there was any legal alternative to acceptance of the board’s will. Asked if her city could run a viable school system minus the three affected schools and the state funding destined for students in the adjoining unincorporated area, she gamely suggested that, come what may, Germantown would succeed with its system.

Asked if there was any reason other than logistical for her city’s bearing the brunt of sacrifice in the Hopson plan, Goldsworthy only smiled cryptically. When her interviewer suggested he couldn’t interpret a smile, she answered, “Oh yes, you can.”

Comments (81)

Showing 1-25 of 81

What you outline Jackson is exactly the reason MSD formation is so attractive.

If our community wants something, we will get it when we have our MSD formed. If we choose to stay in SCS, our community has to split a vote with another community, and even then it's only one vote, which means anything we want as a community first has to gain agreement of another community and then gain agreement of at least 3 other board members representing different communities.

Local control is valuable, and we will have it soon.

As I've said, I personally can live with Hopson's proposal, especially since he plans to make the Germantown schools optional. That would help ensure that the students that attend the school going forward are going to be good kids. It works for me. We will see what our school board chooses to do or how hard they choose to fight it, but either way, it'll be nice to be split from the mega-district, so the community's will for its schools will be not be so reliant on other communities going forward.

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Posted by GroveReb84 on 10/29/2013 at 6:26 AM

GroveReb84

Not so quick. There is still the matter of someone filing a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights to go after your federal funding. Hell, it is free to do and can even be done without their names being initially divulged. Out of over 600,000 people in Memphis, you better believe, someone will file it, should this current lawsuit fail. You know, someone who is up in age, not reliant on employment and or personal gain. In other words, someone with nothing to lose who really don't give a shit about what your community will think of them.

Umm. I wonder who that could be!

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Posted by oldtimeplayer on 10/29/2013 at 9:43 AM

OTP, I really feel sorry for you. Hatred is a terrible thing to harbor. I truly am sorry that lady at the department store in the 50's told you to get in the back of the line because of the color of your skin (as you have stated in another post). Not sure if you hold any religious beliefs, but just about every world religion teaches the dangers of not letting go and not forgiving others. All these years have truly weighed heavily upon you. Forgiveness sets YOU free, not those that transgressed against you.

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Posted by True_Statement on 10/29/2013 at 10:05 AM

Reb - How does making the school optional cause it to be more attractive to a Memphis parent? The zoning doesn't change; you're still going to have 3 dipsticks for every "good kid" in each class. And since it works for you, I take it you are nowhere near SoPo. So you are OK with a muni district in which the people in and around the three "G" school neighborhoods get an unscheduled colonoscopy, and the disparity in property values between the two sides of the tracks gets even wider?

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Posted by staythirstymyfriends on 10/29/2013 at 10:28 AM

Yes, we know you're going to file a lawsuit OTP, because your hate runs that deep. Good luck with that.

I'm sure SCS will not be pleased with your efforts since they'd like to settle this and move on, but go right ahead and try to pitch a fit. Please feel free to let us know what responses you get too. I'd be really curious about that. Sue away because you're bitter that your hopes to stick it to the suburbs are waning, though I'm curious to know what standing you would have to sue. I guess that would be up to the lawyers and judges to decide.

I will be interested to see the case you make for an injunction too. I'm sure it'll go something like this...."Wahh! Wahh! White people!". However, I'm sure it'll be phrased in proper legalese though before being presented to a judge, so it'll be more like "WHEREAS Wahh! Wahh! HERETOFOR White People!".

I've told you many times from the very beginning. This is a battle you can't win. Even if your most favored doomsday scenario were to happen to the suburbs, you'd lose your suburbs and their tax base to neighboring counties over time. You'd lose many businesses as well. It may not happen overnight, but it wouldn't take 10 years for a Great Migration to complete. You'd contribute to creating the next generation of bitter OTPs in Memphis/Shelby County though, so you could be happy in that.

It reminds me of the story I heard on the radio the other day where a husband going through a divorce took something like $50 million out of his savings/investments, converted it to gold bars and had it melted down, because he didn't want his wife to see a penny of it. I'm sure that he was satisfied with himself in the short run for sticking it to that crazy, b**** of a wife, but in the long run, he just punished himself, and he looked like an idiot in the process. Feel free to try to melt those gold bars if it gives you the least bit of satisfaction in trying. My children will be fine and taken care of no matter what happens to the schools they attend or to our neighborhood where we live today. Freedom of mobility and financial means ensure that. The only ones you'll hurt in your dream scenario will be the future children of Memphis and Shelby County. You'd be just like the husband in my scenario, happy you stuck it to that b****, but eating Ramen noodles alone in your apartment while your ex-wife is living with her new husband.

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Posted by GroveReb84 on 10/29/2013 at 10:31 AM

@staythirsty,

I don't believe it'll be an issue for those South of Poplar. I actually went to the "G" schools myself, so I have fond memories of all of them. However, I'm not attached to the buildings, only the environment I grew up in.

As far as the optional thing goes, it would encourage good parents to move to those neighborhoods that are zoned to one of the "G" schools, and it would bring in good students from other parts of the county to attend those schools, so overall the schools would be filled primarily with students whose parents actually care enough to either drive their child to school every day or pay a slight property value premium to live in the right zone to attend that school, much like you see for WSHS.

Also, I don't see Hopson's plan as a property value hit for South of Poplar either. As of right now, houses South of Poplar are in the $80-$85 per SF range, while those north of Poplar are in the $95-$110 per SF range, and the majority of that disparity is driven by the fact that Riverdale, Farmington, Dogwood, HMS, and HHS are perceived as more desirable schools. There isn't anything else that makes that big of a difference in the values.

If Hopson's plan goes through, South of Poplar would be zoned to those 5 schools that are perceived as more desirable, and therefore the $80-$85 per SF value would stand to increase for A LOT of those homes. Would there be any knock to the property value of those neighborhoods directly near the school buildings? Maybe, but the rest of the neighborhoods South of Poplar (the majority of that area) would likely see an INCREASE in property value under Hopson's plan. I think it would be net gain for South of Poplar property values and a net gain for Germantown property values as a whole.

That's why I don't understand the drama. You'll still be zoned for a Germantown MSD school, and it'll be one that's perceived as better than the one you are zoned to attend today. How is that a negative for property value?

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Posted by GroveReb84 on 10/29/2013 at 10:43 AM

@staythirsty,

Let me also add that I believe that if we wanted to push this to the courts that Germantown has a great case for keeping all of its buildings given past precedent and past legal cases.

SCS is the district of last resort. Its job is to educate what's left over after all other LEAs in the county have taken their school population. As I noted in another post, whenever Memphis annexed an area in the past, MCS received the school facilities and the students in that annexation area. There were often students outside of the annexation area that lost their schools to MCS. SCS had to figure out how to rezone to accomodate those students in the remaining schools. That's what happens when you're the district of last resort.

If we chose to fight this, I am confident that's the outcome you'd see. The question is whether or not it's worth the legal battle, which would delay MSD formation for Germantown and cost us extra money in legal fees. That'll be up to our school board, Aldermen, and Mayor to decide. It's simply a question of picking your battles.

By the way, if MCS chose to re-form as an MSD and work out education for the unincorporated areas with the other MSDs, then SCS would no longer exist. If that happens, who is leasing buildings to whom? That's the legal point that explains why SCS does NOT own ANY of the buildings. The question is whether it's worth it to fight over that or not.

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Posted by GroveReb84 on 10/29/2013 at 10:59 AM

I think this helps Germantown becuase they have never thought through any outcomes other than assuming the status quo. For months it has been apparent that they would not keep the Cordova, Southwind and Unincorporated kids, so why do they need the buildings? They have never addressed the need for two high schools when there are only enough true Germantown kids for one. But why does anyone south of Poplar think they lost? They will go to Houston since that will be the high school for the city. It will still be attractive to live anywhere in Germantown. It's no great loss to me and I am living the supposed Germantown dream.

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Posted by GtownParent on 10/29/2013 at 11:13 AM

The fact that people living south of Poplar apparently regard this as some great loss makes me wonder how many Germantown residents actually understand what is happening.

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Posted by barf on 10/29/2013 at 11:19 AM

@barf

Many of them have children that were refused seats in the flagship optional program. I know people like that. They perceive the optional programs as a lie. They are right. Their children go on to some other place, like G'town, and do well in the AP programs there. The problem is that the optional programs have always be based upon "availability", with seating limited, creating a hierarchy that is apparently based on ability but in fact is based upon other criteria. That's why there are three high schools in the former SCS (in the public system alone) that produce as many or more NMS students than the flagship. The students ability exist, but they are told they aren't "good enough". This has been going on for almost 40 years. The result is that the people in the SoPo section of G'town don't believe what they are told by the MCS Optional framework.

Does that clear it up for you?

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Posted by Eeyore on 10/29/2013 at 12:06 PM

@barf,

I agree. I think some of those South of Poplar believe they'll be going to an SCS school. I think there is some misunderstanding there. They will be zoned to Germantown MSD, which will likely increase property values South of Poplar, not decrease them.

@staythirsty and another others who are upset about this SCS proposal, what did you expect?

Obviously, in an ideal scenario (let's say we all have purple skin and no history of discrimination anywhere in the country), Germantown MSD would be allowed to form. We would get EVERY building within its city limits at NO charge. Germantown could choose to offer open enrollment spots and fill them how it chooses. No cooperative agreements would be needed at all. SCS would be left to figure out what to do with its enrollment zones to accomodate its remaining enrollment in the remaining facilities it has within Shelby County. After all, it is the district of last resort, and therefore it has to take whatever is given to it and make due. This would require a lot of shifting by SCS in order to make room for the kids dropped to its rolls that were previously educated in new MSD schools.

However, we don't live in that ideal world, and right now, SCS has a power that it shouldn't normally have. That power exists in the form of the SCC standing behind it with a discrimination lawsuit, using the lawsuit to extort as much as it can from the suburbs.

That's reality. You can choose to accept it and find the best way to deal with it, or you can choose to deny reality and fight a fight that would cost a lot of money and time, with the result still likely not being much more ideal than what is currently on the table and a possibility that the result could be LESS desirable.

I may not like reality exactly as it is, but I choose to live in reality, and reality says there are really 3 options on the table for Germantown right now. Take your pick:

1) Choose to accept the SCS proposal. Operate Germantown MSD out of 5 schools, and as our enrollment increases, expand existing facilities to accomodate increased enrollments. We have to cede 3 buildings that have a history in the community, but ultimately every resident that pays taxes is paying taxes equally to take care of Germantown students.

2) Propose an agreement to educate all of our existing attendance zones in perpetuity. This alleviates the main concern of SCS, that they will have to build facilities for these students in the future, but it also means that as those areas grow (without any restriction from the city of Germantown) and as Germantown's school population grows, you're now responsible for building new facilities using Germantown property taxes only. The children in the unincorporated areas don't pay Germantown property taxes, and therefore you're paying out of your pocket to build facilities that are needed because areas outside of your taxing boundary are growing. This isn't necessarily fair or desirable, but it's an option.

3) Propose a deal where we educate our existing zones for as long as we have room in the schools, and if Germantown's school children population grows, Germantown agrees to pay a certain amount (50%/100%) of any new facility expansions/constructions that are required for SCS to educate any children that we no longer have room to educate in our schools. This again requires Germantown to pay tax money toward facilities to be used to educate non-Germantown residents, but it's an option that could be pursued if the school buildings are that important to Germantown residents as a whole. It isn't the most ideal either, but it's an option.

The ideal scenario (where we're all purple) that I listed above doesn't exist. That's what SHOULD be able to happen, but because of the history of the area and the Equal Protection lawsuit, the rules of the game are a bit different. I understand the frustration over not being able to exercise what you feel is your right by law, but reality tells us that trying to have our cake and eat it too would cost a lot of money and time.

Given the actual reality, the 3 choices I listed are the only options, and SCS would have to be willing to agree to option 2 or 3 in order for those to become reality. None of those three options are the most ideal, but if you thought you were going to get EVERYTHING you wanted out of this deal, you were foolish from the outset. We have to give on something. I don't like it any more than you do, but it's reality. We just have to decide what risks we want to take as a community with our schools.

I'd be curious to hear which option you prefer staythirsty. Same goes for any other Germantown resident that posts on this forum. Personally, I prefer Option 1, because I think it settles the issue and gives us fiscal certainty immediately, but as a community, we have to decide which route to pursue. I suppose you could propose an Option 4, where we try to pursue the absolute ideal scenario through the courts, but we're likely facing a long and drawn out battle that may or may not net what we want as a community. It really depends on if you want to spend 10 years dealing with court battles and appeals, watching your property value plummet while other communities like Collierville, Bartlett, and Arlington take your place as the most desirable communities in the area.

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Posted by GroveReb84 on 10/29/2013 at 12:35 PM

Option 4:

G'town takes all schools sighing it's borders.

G'town continues to educate the current non-resident student body and any family currently within it's non-resident attendance zone may also send any younger children and those not yet with us in perpetuity so long as the current owner of the home is with us.

G'town pays nothing to SCS for any associated displacement in the future, given that there will be plenty of time for proper planning to occur and the fact that a 20% over capacity already exist.

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Posted by Eeyore on 10/29/2013 at 1:09 PM

Hmmm. The folks that ran MCS, the worst performing school district in the state of TN despite having the largest budget, now have control over all the schools in Shelby County. Now, that's world class, baby!

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Posted by FlyHigh on 10/29/2013 at 1:42 PM

So...Eeyore, are you willing to wait 5-10 years for the lawsuits and appeals associated with Option 4 to settle? That's what you're asking for, to put MSD formation on hold for a number of years.

And are you willing to watch as Collierville, Bartlett, and Arlington grow significantly as people leave Germantown to take advantage of municipal schools?

As I said, I'm trying to deal in reality here. Option 4 comes with a lot of delay and a lot of money on lawsuits. It's the most ideal option for sure if it was possible immediately, but it comes with lawsuits over the ownership of the buildings (even if the state chooses to pass a law regarding facility transfer), and it comes with the SCC maintaining its current lawsuit or filing a separate Equal Protection suit JUST against Germantown.

Point being, OPTION 4 IS NOT AN OPTION...unless you don't mind waiting for years and spending a lot of your tax dollars on lawyers (both through county and and city taxes). That's right, you get to pay both to be sued and to defend from the suits while you're waiting.

We could and I would guess WOULD win both suits, but do you want to wait for years through lawsuits and appeals while watching your property value drop like a rock during the waiting period? Just like I told OTP and others within the city that it was foolish to stick your head in the sand and refuse to consider amicable negotiation with this school issue, it's foolish for anyone in Germantown to not recognize that the "give me everything I want with no compromise" strategy won't work either.

Personally, I won't be one of those waiting around for the suits to settle. I'll pull my kids out and either move or send them to private school and let everyone else sort out the battles over schools. I won't subject my own kids to the uncertainty. There are many like me out here too, and for each one of us, you can take a few more pennies per square foot off your property value. Taking the All or Nothing stance is short-sighted and foolish for either side. You have to be willing to give something. Take your pick. Didn't we learn anything from the Tea Party morons who refused to negotiate and ended up with nothing but a funneling of money into efforts to try to oust them from office?

Oh, and in the meantime, while we're involved in lengthy lawsuits and appeals, you can bet to get the shortest end of the stick on EVERY decision from the SCS board as punishment. This isn't the time for petulance. It's the time for reasonable discussions and concessions that settle the issue and get us all back to the issue of educating children. You know that was the whole purpose of this conflict, right?

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Posted by GroveReb84 on 10/29/2013 at 1:54 PM

@Grover

I'm thinkin' you already don't have anything to do with this. I'm thinkin' you live in the grove. Walnut grove republicant rebel. That makes lots of sense. It's why you sound like OTP.

In any event, I don't believe we'll be tied up in lawsuits. The property goes with the students. The proposal, as framed by me, keeps that in place for current residents, as intended. It also leaves open the possibilities and flexibility for all parties to plan fir a future in which change is inevitable, whereas yours do not. In addition, the large swath of land in question is Germantown Municipal Area, and my plan reserves it the ability to plan longterm regarding it's use whereas yours does not.

Thanks for playing, and have a nice day.

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Posted by Eeyore on 10/29/2013 at 2:16 PM

This is all ironic from a new-to-Memphis perspective. I was told by a lot of people (aside from Midtown lovers) that schools in Germantown have generally been considered the best in Shelby County. "Live in Germantown if you want your kids in good public schools" is what I was told. Now there is a possibility that there will be 2 systems within one city. It’s too bad that Bartlett and Collierville didn't utter a single word of support for Ms. Goldsworthy. They got what they needed. Hopefully, negotiations will be delicately handled on all sides.

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Posted by SoCalTransplant on 10/29/2013 at 2:35 PM

@so cal

What they are gonna do is send a bunch of people with section 8 vouchers to the south of Germantown. This is already happening. The low income housing croud will come and go, with little effect on G'town. That is, if G'town maintains control of the schools. The section 8 vouchers will continue unabated in any case, with the only difference being that G'town will not be tasked with the social problems on it's own if they can maintain control of the schools, and the task of helping these people will continue to remain with all county residents. If G'town cannot maintain control of those schools, the entirety of G'town will have a socioeconomic problem on it's hands that it cannot handle, all due to the fact that it will not maintain control of the housing patterns in the school zone south of it's municipal borders.

I hope I made myself clear.

Thanks for listening.

Eeyore

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Posted by Eeyore on 10/29/2013 at 2:58 PM

None of you idgits, recognize, yes idgits, that the key to enhancing scholastic achievement across the board, is smaller class rooms. We have the rooms. The teachers are available. If we Quit wasting money on lawsuits, A Yugo Pre-k, promising Ferrari Pre-K results, we could pay them.

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Posted by thecatsmeow on 10/29/2013 at 3:04 PM

@Eeyore,

I'm willing to let the Germantown leaders take a hard line stance for negotiation. I'm just not willing to let the hard line negotiation push us into lengthy lawsuits that cost us a lot of money and time. I see no harm in at least trying that stance to see what kind of push can be made, but I wouldn't go into negotiations with an unwillingness to accept some sort of middle ground.

And yes I most certainly live in Germantown. In fact, I've lived in 4 different homes within Germantown since I was an elementary school kid. We can take a hard line stance, but I wouldn't do so with the plan of taking it to court and multiple levels of appeals. I don't think it's worth that though.

One point of clarification though, you do realize that every house and resident that resides in Germantown's city borders would be zoned for Riverdale, Farmington, Dogwood, HMS, and HHS under Hopson's proposal, right? No one that lives in Germantown city proper would attend GES, GMS, and GHS after those grandfathered in graduated. I think some people are still operating under the misunderstanding that the south part of Germantown would be SCS territory. That's not true at all.

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Posted by GroveReb84 on 10/29/2013 at 3:13 PM

...but that isn't what they did, is it kitten?

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Posted by Eeyore on 10/29/2013 at 3:14 PM

The issue I mentioned to so cal (see above) must not be mishandled.

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Posted by Eeyore on 10/29/2013 at 3:21 PM

@ Eeyore

Nope, we are INCREASING class size, to pay for "feel good" programs whose benefits will fade into nothingness beyond the third grade.

Fur dem otter guys:

Don't even try to bring up HighScope, 1:7 teacher student ratio, weekly in home visits with parents. If you want to fund Pre-K at 20- 25K per student levels and hold to their other criteria, fine. Don't hand me bologna and tell me it is prime rib.

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Posted by thecatsmeow on 10/29/2013 at 3:27 PM

AC Wharton still owes thirty seven million dollars for the education of the children of Memphis and Shelby County. He gave thirty million dollars to Pinnacle Airlines. The whole school merger saga would have never happened if Wharton had paid the court judgment for thirty seven million dollars.

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Posted by stapletondia on 10/29/2013 at 3:53 PM

Jackson, one quick question that you might consider asking...what happened when Cordova was annexed and Cordova High became an MCS school? It was the most recent annex that included a high school.

I know for a fact that SCS didn't LEASE the building to MCS. Did MCS pay any sort of fee for the transfer at all? Did it come free of charge? Did MCS take any sort of ownership papers for it, or was it just understood that it was MCS's jurisdiction?

I know Southwind was a much different agreement with a joint agreement on building a facility for the students in that area that would start out in SCS but then eventually become MCS students (though it never took place officially). I would assume an agreement like that could be made for Germantown and the spillover there.

I tried to do some brief research on building transfers, and there isn't much out there on the web. I assume that type of information would be readily available for a journalist doing research on the topic.

I think a ton of value could be brought to this discussion by listing some of the recent building transfers and how they happened. About the only thing I could find was a situation where a couple of schools stayed with SCS for a couple years before becoming MCS, I assume as part of an agreement to allow both districts to prepare for enrollment and zone shifts. It would shed a whole lot of light on this situation, and I'm honestly not sure how the transfers have been handled in the past.

Some clarity on this issue would be great rather than just going by Hopson's "possession is 9/10s of the law" assumption that has zero basis in case law. Any interest in pursuing that Jackson? If not, I may make some calls on the side myself and see what I can dig up. I assume our lawyers have done that already.

I just don't think it's right to set the precedent that SCS "owns" any buildings (because they don't) if that isn't the way it's been handled in the past. It's fine to negotiate over things like retirement benefits and insurance and such, but those things shouldn't be tied to a 40 year building lease. Those things are unrelated, and therefore setting a precedent that they are related would be bad. What happens in 40 years for example when the leases are up and retirement/insurance benefits are up? Does the SCS board at that point then have the ability to set a new lease rate wherever they choose to set it? See what I'm getting at here? It's a bad precedent to set, and it would be foolish for any suburb to accept that kind of deal.

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Posted by GroveReb84 on 10/29/2013 at 4:15 PM

Staple-
The fact that you are even hinting that those funds are interchangeable says a lot. Where, pray tell, did you go to school?

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Posted by barf on 10/29/2013 at 4:55 PM
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