EARLY REACTION TO TASK-FORCE PLAN POSITIVE

EARLY REACTION TO TASK-FORCE PLAN POSITIVE

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Attending state House of Representatives Speaker Jimmy Naifeh’s annual 'Coon Supper' at Covington Country Club Thursday, Shelby County school board member Ann Edmiston and Board president David Pickler were still in a celebratory mood about a special task force’s proposal for reorganizing the relationship between city and county school systems.

The plan would allow for the creation of a special school district in Shelby County, single-source funding for both the county and city systems and the abandonment of the average-daily-attendance formula (much deplored by county commission candidates in suburban districts this year) that mandates three dollars to the city schools for every dollar spent in the county on school construction.

Under the proposal, city schools would get new funding for “at-risk” students and a lower property-tax rate (the county’s would rise)

The proposal by the task force, organized by Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton with membership from both the private and public sectors, is regarded as preparing the way for a possible general consolidation of city and county governments later on.

The plan received guarded statements of approval Thursday night from candidates for county mayor at a forum at the Jewish Community Center.

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