MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The secrecy surrounding it all is a bit troubling. But overall, it’s good news that a tug-of-war over three public schools in Germantown has finally been resolved.
In a joint statement Monday, local government leaders announced that the county will give Memphis-Shelby County Schools $72.5 million to help build a new high school in the Cordova area. In addition, the city of Germantown will pitch in five million – and help the county district sell Germantown High school to a private buyer.
Once all the transactions are done, MSCS should have enough money to build the new high school – estimated to cost between $110 and $125 million. All of this is happening because when Germantown formed its own school district nearly a decade ago, it did not include Germantown Elementary, Middle and High in the plans. Those schools remained with the larger county district because most of the students do not live in Germantown. But the municipality has been fighting for years to get control of the schools and earlier this year, the state legislature intervened.
Private negotiations to settle the dispute have been going on for months – which is concerning. We’re talking about millions in taxpayer dollars – and the public should have been kept in the loop. Still, hopefully, this all goes through without a hitch and all sides get what they need.