School systems for 6 Memphis suburbs approved

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Voters in six Memphis suburbs have approved the creation of municipal public school systems to sidestep the merger of city and county schools.

Referendums in Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown, Lakeland and Millington passed Thursday. Next month, a judge will have the final say on whether the vote will stand.

Voters in those municipalities want their own schools to avoid the merger between the larger, struggling, majority-black Memphis school system and the smaller, more successful, majority-white Shelby County district.

The vote is being challenged in court by the Shelby County Commission, which is concerned that the breakaway could undermine the merger.

Voters in the six suburbs also approved a property tax increase to help pay for the schools.

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