Judge in Memphis holds hearing on suburban schools

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- A federal judge in Memphis is expected to rule on whether voters in six Shelby County municipalities should be allowed to decide if they want their own school districts.

U.S. District Court Judge Samuel Mays scheduled a Thursday hearing about a planned Aug. 2 referendum in the Shelby County suburbs of Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown, Lakeland and Millington.

The six municipalities are seeking voter approval to form their own public school districts and avoid becoming part of the merger between the Memphis and Shelby County school systems, which are set to combine in 2013.

The Shelby County Commission had sued to stop the votes, claiming that the municipal school districts are unconstitutional.

Early voting in the suburbs is scheduled to begin Friday, unless Mays issues an injunction stopping the vote.

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