Bill that returns namesake schools to Germantown passes Education Committee

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In March, Germantown announced its support of legislation that, if approved, would codify a Tennessee Attorney General opinion clarifying the unresolved question of whether an LEA can and should legally operate within the jurisdictional boundaries of another LEA. An LEA, or Local Education Agency, is the elected school board and governing body for a public school system.

As a brief recap, the proposed legislation requires Shelby County Schools to transition away from operating schools in surrounding municipalities including Germantown and Millington. 

The bill would also clarify the transitional processes regarding educational operations and public capital assets (buildings, facilities, etc.) from one LEA to another LEA when applicable. 

The proposed bill (SB898/HB917) was originally filed on March 25 by Rep. Mark White. 

On April 7, the bill was scheduled to come before the Senate’s Education Committee and the House Election Administration Committee. After much discussion and testimony, the Senate Education Committee initially voted to reject SB898. 

However, following a brief recess, the committee later reconvened and Sen. Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) brought forth a different bill (SB924), which included SB898 as an amendment. 

The new SB924 passed in the Senate Education Committee by a vote of 6 to 3. SB898 will move to the full Senate, while HB917 (now HB525) has been rolled. It is likely that the Senate bill will be heard this week, where it would need to pass in order to move to the House. 

On Monday, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen took official action in support of HB525/SB924 by passing a resolution.

“We look forward to working towards a solution and a mutually agreeable transition plan to acquire our City’s namesake schools,” said Germantown Mayor Mike Palazzolo.

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