Judge grants commission request to enter case

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- A federal judge in Memphis has signaled his intent for the court to decide whether suburban Shelby County cities can form their own school systems.

The Commercial Appeal reported U.S. District Court Judge Samuel "Hardy" Mays issued an order Thursday, granting the Shelby County Commission's request to challenge the constitutionality of municipal school districts. Mays also ordered an expedited hearing on whether he will issue a temporary restraining order, halting ballot issues in six city elections Aug. 2.

The cities decided to ask voters whether to form local systems after the Memphis City Schools decided to disband and make the Shelby County Schools the sole public education provider in the county.

Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown, Lakeland and Millington have scheduled elections less than a month away.

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