Many residents of Shelby County seem to be unaware of which schools constitute the present SCS system, and which ones would wind up in a given Municipal School District, should suburban residents pass referenda establishing MSDs. The situation is not obvious, and I found a few surprises myself while doing the research.
THE PRESENT SHELBY COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM
There are 52 schools in the present SCS system. They are distributed geographically as follows: Arlington has four (two elementary, one middle and one high school); Collierville has eight (five elementary, two middle and one high school); Germantown also has eight (four elementary, two middle and two high schools); Lakeland has one elementary school; Millington has five (three elementary, one middle and one high school); and Bartlett has the most with 11 (six elementary, four middle and one high school).
In addition, there are 15 schools in the unincorporated areas of Shelby County. Of these, 13 are in the Memphis annexation area, while two (Bolton High School and Barret’s Chapel Elementary) are in the northeast part of the county, which is not in the reserve area of any municipality.
THE UNIFIED SCS SYSTEM PLUS SIX SUBURBAN MSD’s
None of the six MSDs can ever take in any schools that are not already within their boundaries. All the “unincorporated” county schools, except the two mentioned above, would eventually have been annexed by Memphis.
The Unified Shelby County School System will consist of the 220 present Memphis schools, plus the 15 county schools in unincorporated areas.
Ironically, if all the suburban cities form their own MSDs, the surrender of the Memphis City School Charter will result in the system having merged with itself, plus the 13 county schools it would have annexed anyway. The only expansion would be the inclusion of Bolton and Barret’s Chapel. The schools of any suburb that does not vote to establish its own MSD would also be included in this group.
There is actually another school system within the county called the “Achievement” District, which includes all the failing schools that have been removed from MCS supervision and will now be administered by the State of Tennessee. Already there are six of these. It seems there will soon be about 30 more.
Finally, in recent weeks, approval has been given for the establishment of a number of charter schools in the area.
Next Week: Summary, Opinions, and Recommendations