keshaperry

Bringing the Old into the New Year

In Uncategorized on January 3, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Christmas has long been my favorite holiday. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve also come to realize that the holidays can be very stressful as well. Yet, the joy of thanksgiving and giving to others gives me a level of happiness that is extremely difficult to describe, and the stress, ahhh, magically disappears. And as Christmas fades into the rearview, the hope of starting over in the new year quickly approaches. And I jump on the resolutions train: I will commit to getting to work on time; I will commit to not procrastinating; I will…, I will…, and each year it’s the same three resolutions. I try. But yet, I still carry the old baggage from the previous year into the new. And not to my surprise, I’m not the only one.

While home for the holidays or my detox from broadband and great cell phone reception, the Memphis City Schools Board voted, in a highly controversial 5-4 vote, to surrender its charter. What does this mean? As reported in the Commercial Appeal November 18 article, surrendering the charter is “in anticipation of a move by Shelby County Schools to become a special school district. With the GOP’s domination of state legislative races in the Nov. 2 elections, city school board members say the county’s bid for a special district now is likely to succeed.” Also, when discussions of a city-county government consolidation became serious, all governmental services were to be merged but the schools. If the vote stands, the voters of Memphians will resolve the issue once and for all at the ballot box.

And on New Year’s Eve, the Commercial Appeal’s Sherri Silence noted that the issue is far from over. The Memphis City School Board is about to get new members, and the question remains, will the newly sworn in board members overturn the vote? As Silence reports, “conflicting opinions abound about whether such a turnaround is even possible under school board rules.”

And so, the 2011 resolutions are carried over from 2010. Memphis has a significant challenge in the coming days, months, and year. It is not a secret that Memphis is my home away from home, but Memphis, like all families is dysfunctional from time to time. No one knows how the future is affected by surrendering the charter, because there are significant political and social ramifications that must be played out. Let’s not forget the issue of redistricting. If this stands, we will see a new dawn in Memphis. What is unknown is what the day after will look like.

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