Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Leadership and Policy Studies

Committee Chair

Reginald Leon Green

Committee Member

McNeal Larry

Committee Member

Louis A Franceschini

Committee Member

Duane Giannagelo


The Memphis City Schools (MCS) and Shelby County Schools (SCS) completed an historical merger July1, 2013. Memphis City School system was a large urban school district and the legacy Shelby County School system was a smaller, mainly suburban school system. The Memphis City School Board surrendered their charter in December of 2010 stating the merger process. Guiding the merger process, the Tennessee Senate approved Tennessee Public Chapter 1 on March 10, 2011 creating a 21-member Transition Planning Commission (TPC). The TPC was charged with creating a transition plan to submit to the Shelby County Board for approval. The Superintendents of Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools created a Transition Steering Committee (TSC) to operationalize the TPC merger plan. This study investigated the processes and procedures used to merge the Memphis City Schools and the Shelby County Schools from the perspective of teh members of the Transition Steering Committee. This Study examined the TSC's implementation of the merger plan and how they vetted and operationalized the Transition Planning Commissions recommendations. This ethnographic case study relied on interviews of members of the TSC, the researchers notes, since the researcher was a member of the TSC, along with TSC documentation. The findings discovered through this research were: A structure must be in place to guide the merger, leadership is critical at every phase of the process, culture must be addressed if the two organizations are expected to work together effectively, an appropriate amount of time is needed to merge two school districts. Merging two large school districts requires a tremendous amount of time, energy, and expertise by those involved. The historical significance of this merger warrants documentation of the processes and procedures used to merge the two districts. The findings from this study offer firsthand insight for educational leaders who are contemplating or involved in the merger process.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.