Measure to let cities form school systems

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Gov. Bill Haslam has signed legislation that clears the way for cities to begin forming municipal school systems.

The measure, which passed the House 70-24 and the Senate 24-5, lifts a 1998 ban that forbids municipalities from starting their own school systems.

It benefits six Memphis suburbs seeking to bypass a merger of the Shelby County and Memphis school districts and run their own schools.

The suburbs voted in August to create their own districts after the Legislature passed a narrowly crafted bill that allowed it.

Shelby County officials argued in court that the law violated the Tennessee Constitution because it applied to only one county. A federal judge agreed and struck it down.

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