At present time all Memphis area schools are merging with Shelby County Schools. The surburban cities (6) are working on establishing independent school systems outside the Shelby County Memphis merger. Waiting on courts decision of constitutionality of such a system. I firmly believe some day the suburban cities will have independent shcools systems.
How far is too far? We have communities with good public schools like Lakeland, Bartlett, Germantown and Collierville. Collierville to downtown there really is no easy way and you can expect at least 35 minutes - depending on time of day you travel. Arlington once you reach I40 would be about 30 minutes depending on time of day for your travel. The other 2 would have just about the same commute to downtown of about 30 minutes depending on the time of day you travel.
Personally if I were moving to this area I would live in Lakeland for better schools and least crime. Next would be in Bartlett within the Bon-Lin school district for better schools and lower crime.
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There is lots of good in the Memphis area - I have lived here for over 20-years.
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