Cash threatens deep cuts if money withheld - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Cash threatens deep cuts if money withheld

By Lori Brown - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A dispute over funding has the city of Memphis holding back millions of dollars from Memphis City Schools.

Now, Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash is threatening major cuts if the city doesn't pay up.  Otherwise, according to Cash, deep cuts are the best case scenario.

"That's with an 84 million dollar cut and it's okay to do it," Cash said. "I haven't been signaled that it's okay. You'll still get your state money."

That best case would mean cuts to athletics, slices to music and art programs, and slashes to bus routes.

"It will be much more than that because it's minus the city and minus the state," Cash said.

Cash says if the city doesn't pay up by August, the state says it would withhold its funding, and schools may have to shut their doors.

He put it to the school board this way Thursday:

"You will not have school, and you will not have anyone working," he said.

But some feel the threats about athletics and the arts disappearing are like a magician's smoke and mirrors.

"Scare tactics must end immediately," Memphis City Council Chairman Myron Lowery said. "Citizens should not be afraid the schools will close because they want.  The state will not allow them to be closed."

Lowery says Memphis taxpayers already fund Memphis City Schools through their county taxes.

"We're being taxed twice for the same purpose," he said. "That is simply not fair.

A judge will be the one to decide who, in the end, picks up all the pieces.

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