Turf Wars Imminent Over Schools, Annexation

Jan 31, 2012

Turf wars look imminent between the state legislature and the City of Memphis.

A proposed law in the state legislature (Senate Bill 3703 and House Bill 3473) aims to take land in the Memphis annexation area away from the city. The bills were written by Sen.Mark Norris and Rep. Curry Todd, both Republicans from Collierville. Senior Reporter for the Memphis Daily News Bill Dries said suburban lawmakers are trying to dictate city annexation, “Because the annexation is key to the ongoing deliberation about schools consolidation and the possible formation of municipal school districts.”

“There’s a perception that the municipal school districts being talked about are just kids from Collierville, for instance, attending school buildings in Collierville. That’s not the case at all.” Dries said.

If the bills pass, “It will mean that if a town decides to form a municipal school district, they would not have to really consult or work out any agreement with the City of Memphis, because the land they are talking about, the attendance zone they are talking about, will not be under the City of Memphis control anymore.”

The Memphis City Council is considering annexing the contested land before the bills can pass the state legislature. And Memphis Mayor AC Wharton said the city will probably go to court over this issue.