Time running out for 3G school negotiations

Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 7:37 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Still no deal in the negotiations regarding the future of three Germantown schools. 

This all stems from a law passed by the Tennessee General Assembly requiring Memphis-Shelby County Schools to shift control of those schools to the Germantown Municipal School District.

There are many stakeholders over the last several weeks that have been meeting to try to come up with a resolution.

MSCS Chief of Staff Patrice Thomas updated Shelby County commissioners about the future of the so-called 3G schools.

The clock is ticking.

According to state law, by New Year’s Eve, all involved have to come up with the parameters for transferring the three schools located inside Germantown City limits, leaving more than 3,000 current students and 300 staff members’ futures hanging in the balance.

“So, I want to be clear that any of our students, any of our employees they should not be concerned.  Why they shouldn’t be concerned is because we know we will continue to fight for our students and our staff,” said Thomas. ”In any discussions, we will be having we will contemplate that there is a multi-year transition period that will take place.”

The biggest sticking point is where to move currently-enrolled students.

For example, of the 1800 students at Germantown High School, 800 are choice transfer students, meaning they are not zoned for Germantown.

1000 students are within their school zone, living primarily in Cordova and Southwind areas.

Cordova High School is the primary option without busing students a long distance, but the high school is already at capacity.

“So, for the most part, Germantown high school has served as a pressure valve if you will, for those areas that residents did not have a seat at a different school,” said Thomas.

Thomas says they are negotiating a multi-year transition period for students and staff.

Thomas says the best option is to build a new high school which would cost $110 to $125 million dollars.

MSCS is also negotiating to transfer Lucy Elementary School into the Millington School District.

Those negotiations appear to be going well and Millington’s superintendent says they plan to have a deal completed by Jan. 1.

" At the end of the day when adults can’t make the right decisions, they argue over silliness, kids are the ones that hurt,” said Millington Municipal Schools Superintendent James Griffin.

Griffin says Lucy is currently being appraised, so the school district can make an offer.

If MSCS and Germantown cannot come to a deal before Jan. 1, the new 3-G law passed will dictate how the agreement is handled.

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