Commissioner Presents Options for $35M Schools Budget

Commissioner Presents Options for $35M Schools Budget

The rocky road to merging Memphis and Shelby County schools is about to hit its biggest pothole. A proposed budget is out, and it shows schools will need an additional $35 million from county taxpayers to produce a balanced budget.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The rocky road to merging Memphis and Shelby County schools is about to hit its biggest pothole. A proposed budget is out, and it shows schools will need an additional $35 million from county taxpayers to produce a balanced budget.

"This is the big hurdle. We get this done, and I'll think we'll be ready to go," stated Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy.

He's just getting back from donating a kidney, but even with just one of those bad boys puttering away in the Mulroy machine, he's still full of chips and vinegar when it comes to the unified school budget.

"It would require either nine votes for a tax increase, or a smaller tax increase plus perhaps a contribution from the city of Memphis and the money that they owe," he explained.

Mulroy wants the city to pay the $57 million it owes Memphis City Schools to the Unified School District in order to prevent the need to raise taxes any higher, because a lot of the other commissioners just won't vote for anything, he says.

"You know, they'll say, I don't care what the circumstances are. I'm closing my mind to anything. I'm never going to vote for any increase in revenue at all," Mulroy said. "I don't think that's responsible, but yes, there are four that will never do anything to help the schools."

The trouble with Mulroy's request is the City of Memphis is fighting a budget battle right now. They'd have to come up with some way to pay that $57 million to the schools.

The mayor already is calling for a tax increase, and city employees getting pay cuts restored will mean even more taxes.

A school plan might not cut the mustard at all.

You can view the proposed school budget at: http://www.scsk12.org/PDFs/Proposed_Budget_2013-14.pdf
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