Muni schools lawsuit mediation fails - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Muni schools lawsuit mediation fails

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Mediation in the municipal schools lawsuit has failed.

Each side walked away from the negotiation table on Friday after a third round of talks saying there is no way a compromise can be reached.

The case is back in the hands of federal Judge Samuel "Hardy" Mays, Jr., who ordered the mediation last week.

Many of the people involved in the recent round of negotiations told FOX13 News that all sides made an honest attempt to reach an agreement, but they couldn't get there. They told Judge Mays they were too far apart on a deal.

The Shelby County Commission has been trying to block the form of school districts in the suburbs, claiming the law that would allow them violates the state and U.S. Constitution.

Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald said the county and city of Memphis couldn't give the suburbs the local control and autonomy it needed. It ended up being one of the deal-breakers for the suburban mayors.

County Commissioner Walter Bailey, who was in on this week's talks, said they all tried to bring this to an equitable end.

"All of us, all parties on both sides mediated in good faith in an effort to try to reach an accord but we were unable to, unfortunately, and consequently that means that the court process is triggered," Commissioner Bailey said.

Judge Mays could issue a ruling at any time, but a ruling doesn't mean the fight is over.

Either side could appeal that ruling, which means the litigation continues and costs everyone more money in legal fees.

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