Todd Bill Would Transfer School Buildings to New Districts

State Rep. Curry Todd, R-Collierville, filed a bill in Nashville on Tuesday that would transfer county school buildings to new municipal school districts for free, according to the Commercial Appeal.
The legislation, which has not yet started through the review process, calls for any indebtedness on the buildings transferred to the municipality to remain with the countywide system.
“That sounds like what we were asking for,” Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald said, acknowledging that he had heard about the bill but not read it.
The bill, House Bill 2954, was one of three regarding education filed by the Collierville House member Tuesday. One only stated that the state department of education would provide assistance to a transition planning commission.
The third bill, however, would open the door for combining individual municipal school districts. It states that if there is consolidation of another school system with the county school system “then two (2) or more cities in the county may create a joint city school system.”
The three proposed bills appear in keeping with the wishes of outlying governments seeking to start their own school systems and comes amid the ongoing debate between the merged Memphis and Shelby County school systems and efforts by the six outlying suburbs to start their own school systems.
The buildings are a key factor in the potential cost for a new municipal school system. Bartlett, for example, has put an estimated value of $65 million on the 11 buildings within that city’s boundaries — a cost that, if the suburb was required to pay for the buildings, would significantly increase the expenses necessary to start a municipal school district.

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