Is School Out Forever in Memphis, TN?

The battle over education continues in Memphis, Tennessee, where the school board says it will indefinitely delay the start of class until the City Council hands over $55 million in city funds, according to Reuters.
103,000 students are scheduled to resume classes August 8th, but the school board is pushing to delay school until they have received fair and adequate funding.
The city school system has a budget of $1.2 billion from federal, state, local, and private sources, but the city of Memphis contributes less than 10% of the school system’s budget. Adding insult to injury is that Memphis residents also pay taxes for the wealthier, higher performing Shelby County school system outside of city limits.
Complicating funding, however, is the fact the Memphis board voted eight months ago to surrender its charter and be absorbed by the Shelby County school system.
Court challenges and countersuits were filed, and a federal judge is expected to rule by the end of July.
According to Reuters, “If the judge rules that the city system is dissolved, he might also rule that Memphis does not have to make its annual schools contribution. The city council earlier this year passed a property tax increase to cover its contribution in case the judge rules the funding must continue for some period.”

Read more here. 

AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at July 20, 2011, 1:15pm

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