Gov. Bill Haslam has signed legislation that clears the way for cities to begin forming municipal school systems.
The measure passed the House 70-24 and the Senate 24-5. It lifts a 1998 ban that forbids municipalities from starting their own school systems, and benefits six Memphis suburbs seeking to bypass a merger of the Shelby County and Memphis school districts and run their own schools.
The suburbs voted in August to create their own districts after the Legislature passed a narrowly crafted bill that allowed it. Shelby County officials argued in court that the law violated the Tennessee Constitution because it applied to only one county. A federal judge agreed and struck it down.