Tag Archives: columbia

Law Journal Criticizes ‘Norris-Todd Act’ Impact on Shelby Schools

A University of California law professor concludes that a 2011 state law “made things dramatically worse for Shelby County, including Memphis,” by favoring the “strongest suburbs” over the Shelby County metro area as a whole.
Richard Locker did a write-up on the article about the measure, which came after Memphis City Schools moved to dissolve and become part of the Shelby County system.
The Columbia Law Review article by UC Berkeley Law School assistant professor Michelle Wilde Anderson examined the Memphis City Schools district’s “dissolution” and the state’s response to it — the “Norris-Todd Act” of 2011 — in the context of its larger effects on regionalism.
Anderson was most critical of the state’s response when the merger issue arose in early 2011. “The state has a critical role to play in determining whether the (Memphis City Schools) dissolution is an opportunity or a setback for Shelby County.”
In its response to “a struggling district that opts for dissolution, the state could have and should have made the county as strong and competent as possible so as to stabilize the service provided in the dissolving district without hurting county children.”
“Instead, Norris-Todd hobbles the combined district, favoring the strongest area suburbs over metropolitan Memphis as a whole. By permitting the breakaway school districts within Shelby County, the state has created the high probability that the best-resourced subterritories within the former Shelby County Schools district will break away into new districts,” Anderson wrote.
“The breakaway provisions of Norris-Todd are poised to … weaken the county schools at their time of greatest vulnerability. Much power now lies with Shelby County’s wealthiest suburbs. Will they contribute to helping the new regional Shelby County Schools succeed, or will they secede?

Former Sen. Bill Richardson Dies, Aged 80

COLUMBIA, Tenn. (AP) — Funeral services are Thursday in Columbia for William “Bill” Richardson of Tullahoma, a state legislator for 16 years. He died Monday at age 80.
Richardson, a Democrat, was elected to the Tennessee House in 1974 and then to the state Senate in 1986. He retired from elective office in 1990.
Richardson was a self-employed land surveyor and minister of the Ostella Church of Christ in Marshall County for 32 years.
Survivors include his wife and eight children

Note: Sen. Roy Herron delivered an eulogy of sorts for Richardson on the Senate floor and the state Democratic party has posted it, HERE.

Columbia Mayor Running for State Senate

Columbia Mayor Dean Dickey said he will run for the new 28th state Senate district seat created in Tennessee’s redistricting process, reports the Columbia Daily Herald.
Dickey joins Democrat Ty Cobb, a Columbia firefighter and former state representative, and Republican state Rep. Joey Hensley of Hohenwald as candidates for the 28th District seat, which will encompass Maury, Giles, Lawrence, Lewis, Perry and Wayne counties.
Dickey said his familiarity with all those counties played a role in his decision to run for the seat. He grew up in Giles County, worked in all six counties as business services manager for the Tennessee Career Center and also owned and operated a Giant Foods supermarket in Lawrenceburg
. “So, it just seemed to be a natural (fit), and that’s what got my attention there,” he said. Dickey, who was elected mayor in November 2009, is also a former Columbia city councilman. As mayor, Dickey has made bringing more jobs to the city his main focus.
He said as state senator he would continue to work to improve employment numbers, as well as issues dealing with safety and roads.
“I can do that, and I can be successful,” he said.

TN Democratic ‘Jobs Tour’ Press Release: Day 3

News release from Tennessee Democratic Caucus:
SMYRNA – House and Senate Democrats continued their statewide jobs tour Wednesday with stops in Columbia and Smyrna, as officials discussed technical jobs training and the expansion of one of Middle Tennessee’s largest employers.
“Today’s events were a great reminder that when different groups within the public and private sector come together, we can put people to work faster and more efficiently,” said State Representative Gary Moore.
The morning began with a roundtable at Columbia State Community College, where former State Rep. Ty Cobb updated everyone with the latest news on the reopening of the General Motors plant in Spring Hill. National labor and management officials with GM have reported they are close to a new contract that would create 600 new jobs next year at the former Saturn plant, and another 1,100 by 2013.
Public officials then met with Marvin Sandrell of Sandrell Heating and Air Conditioning and several members of the Columbia State faculty and staff to discuss how Tennessee educational institutions can best prepare students for the workforce – especially nontraditional students training for a new career.
The tour then traveled to Smyrna to visit the Nissan plant, where the all-electric LEAF is expected to go into mass production next year. Nissan executives and directors told the group that the plant’s expansion is a direct result of Tennessee’s economic incentives and infrastructure support.
“I watched the first Nissans roll off the assembly line in 1983, and since Day One our state government has had a great relationship with Nissan,” said Speaker Emeritus Jimmy Naifeh. “Our cooperation has benefited not only Middle Tennessee, but the entire state.”
Nissan officials also told the tour of the need for increased emphasis on science and technology education and a recommitment to trade schools that prepare Tennesseans for well-paying manufacturing careers.
The jobs tour continues tomorrow morning in McMinnville before heading to Chattanooga for the East Tennessee portion of the tour.

Williamson County Gets a New College Campus

State officials have approved a $6 million deal to purchase a new campus for Columbia State Community College near Cool Springs shopping center in Williamson County, reports WPLN.
The State Building Commission signed off Monday. Columbia State has about 1,500 students in Williamson County, a number that has been growing over the past several years. School president Janet Smith says the building approval caps 30 years of growth.
… The school’s Williamson County branch already has an emphasis on film and entertainment. Smith says she hopes to add other specialties that could benefit companies with headquarters nearby.
“We are working hard with the city and the county as well to offer more in the health care area. We have nursing and EMT there, but we’re looking to health information services and many other health care programs.”