County Commission to Review Unified Schools Budget

County Commission to Review Unified Schools Budget

For the Unified School System, which starts August 1, Wednesday is a critical day. This is the week that's going to determine how much money the school system gets.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - For the Unified School System, which starts August 1, Wednesday is a critical day. This is the week that's going to determine how much money the school system gets.

At least it's the first step in making things official.

Shelby County Commissioners will look at the budget. It was once $145 million out of whack, now it's down to $30 million.

"The school board has done a remarkable job in getting the budget down to where we can at least fund it," stated Commissioner Sidney Chism.

School board members voted to approve a budget just last week. Even some who voted for it say they don't think enough is being spent. The merged school system budget for next year is $75 million less than the budget for both Memphis City and Shelby County Schools last year.

School board member martavius jones noted, "We are not setting education as a priority at the current level of this budget here."

County Mayor Mark Luttrell has a plan that would raise $20 million in taxpayer dollars to help pay for the merged system. It calls for a six cent property tax increase, but commissioners will look at cutting that amount.

"Oh yes, we can look at other cuts. It might not get to six cents," said Commissioner Chism. "There is going to be some tax increase, but in these times we've got to do what's necessary in order to educate our kids."

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