Schools Still Waiting For City Money

Schools Still Waiting For City Money

It has been more than four years since a court ordered the city of Memphis to pay schools $57 million.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - It has been more than four years since a court ordered the city of Memphis to pay schools $57 million.

The city council cut the money in 2008 to lower property taxes.

There has been a lot of talk about reaching a solution, but still nothing.

They cut school bus transportation by $6 million, they laid off several hundred people, and it still required a tax increase for schools.

But court rulings, several of them in fact, said the city was wrong and the city needed to cough up $57 million to the school system.

“Basically the city is still of the position that the funds that were spent to build new schools that were effectively loans to the city schools should offset the 57 million dollars,” Memphis CAO George Little said.

It took George Little just 13 seconds to sum up why this fight has been going on for years.

It took going to court to get a judge to order the city to pay the $57 million to schools.

The city filed their own lawsuit saying they've already loaned at least that much money to the system over the years.

“We do care about the kids. We cared enough to spend the money to build new schools in the annexed areas,” Little said.

Somebody other than the city and the school system is going to have to make a decision.

And George Little says even if the city had to pay, the school system couldn't do much with that $57 million other than bank it.

“Legally its my understanding it goes into reserves and not into the operating budget. So its not like it could have gone for one year to pay for things. The funding issues the schools face are the same ones we fact. One time funding isn't going to solve the problem,” Little said.
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