More schools YouTube fun: Pickler, Shafer, Thomas

OK, so now that I'm on YouTube, I see a few more videos worth checking out. I don't have time to watch every second of them, but apparently a show on 640-AM, "For Life and Liberty," has some relevant YouTube videos.

This 2009 interview with David Pickler is revealing -- he's talking about the "Plan B" single-source school funding plan conceived by a committee in 2009 that would have essentially transferred the education tax burden Memphians pay as part of their city taxes and spread it across the entire county tax base. Pickler and Shelby County Schools opposed it and eventually stopped participating in talks. A fair question to ask now: If SCS had agreed to the single-source funding plan, would we be having this consolidation discussion now? Or would it have merely further emboldened those seeking schools consolidation now?

Another 640-AM video worth checking out is a more recent one with County Commissioners Heidi Shafer and Chris Thomas, talking about schools consolidation. Shafer, whose Dist. 1 is about 80 percent in Memphis, has been consistently allied on this issue with Thomas and the two other county commissioners whose districts are 100-percent suburban. A former schoolteacher, Shafer is very skeptical about the merits of combining the two districts.

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As the process for merging Shelby County's schools accelerates into action, we'll provide bonus coverage here at, with a particular focus on the 21-member transition team and the 23-member unified school board. Comment early and often. If you have any tips or suggestions you wish to share, contact Zack McMillin at or 529-2564.

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