Lots going on right up to Christmas on the schools front:
First, there will be a special meeting of the Memphis City Schools board this evening (Thursday) at 6 p.m. We will be tweeting what happens and have a web story up shortly after.
The board will approve the minutes of Monday’s meeting where they voted to surrender the charter and send the matter to Memphis voters in a referendum early in the new year.
With the minutes approved and the written resolution already delivered to them by the school board, the Shelby County Election Commission will meet Jan. 5 to set the election date.
The Shelby County school board meets the next day, Jan. 6, to consider its first response as a board to the MCS charter surrender.
The 45-60 day window to hold an election puts the referendum squarely in February — between Feb. 7 and Feb. 25 by our calculations – with early voting beginning in mid-January. The early voting period could be underway as voters in state House district 98 go to the polls to decided the primary contests for the seat on the Jan. 20 election day.
For election officials that means the early voting period for the state house primaries could end close to, overlap or dovetail with the beginning of citywide early voting in the referendum.
For the record, early voting in the district 98 contest starts Tues. Jan. 4 and runs through Sat. Jan. 15. There will be three early voting sites including election commission headquarters downtown.
Another consideration is how all of this electoral activity matches up with the legislative calendar in Nashville. The Tennessee legislature opens its session Jan. 11. Bill Haslam takes office as governor on Jan. 15.
The legislature then takes either a two week or three week recess. There is some indication new House speaker Beth Harwell might favor a three week break. That puts the legislature at the week of Feb. 7 for the real beginning of the session and business.
The deadline to file bills hasn’t been set yet