Council approves MCS budget

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - After months of fighting, the Memphis City Council approved the Memphis City Schools budget at their meeting Tuesday afternoon.

The last time Superintendent Doctor Kriner Cash went before the Memphis City Council, he said he was losing sleep over contentious budget talks.  Tuesday, Cash was all smiles when the Memphis City Council's Education Committee approved his $875 million budget for the 2009-2010 school year.

"Right now, I'll be real honest with you.  I'm very happy about what today is," he said.

The committee gave the city authorization to contribute $78.3 million to school funding.

"The dollar amount we agree on also," Cash said.

The tone was a far cry from months and months of budget bickering between the City Council and the school system.  The budget battle prompted the school system to take the Council to court.  But now, Council members are approving more money they originally wanted to cut.

"I thought it was a very good, amicable agreement between the two major parties," Cash said.

The superintendent says talks took a turn for the better when both sides hammered out differences in a recent meeting.

"The two attorneys got together on the same page," he said. "Councilman Flinn took some leadership on the part of the council members.  Martavius Jones...President Jones...took leadership on behalf of the board."

Late Tuesday afternoon, the full council approved the budget, with Council member Edmund Ford recusing himself because he is a teacher in the district.

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