Commissioners question source of funding to repair school - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Commissioners question source of funding to repair school

By Ben Watson - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Money to repair terrible conditions at Millington Central High School may soon by on the way, but not before the Shelby County Commission receives answers about the source of that funding.

Parents of students at Millington Central recently packed into a meeting to complain about leaky classrooms, molded walls and exposed ceilings.

"Until we start squeaking that wheel, nobody cares, so if they bring all those commissioners out here put them on a bus and give them a tour, then we'll see," parent Don Hershel said at the meeting.

At a Shelby County Commission meeting Wednesday, commissioners were supposed to discuss funding for a new cafeteria and other improvements at the school.  However, the meeting began with Commissioner Mike Ritz asking that the matter be deferred for two weeks.

"I think it should be deferred and not withdrawn, but just deferred," Ritz said.

Ritz and several other commissioners said they deferred the matter because several days ago, Shelby County School Board members reversed an urgent request saying they desperately needed need money.  Now, board members say that money is not needed.

"All of a sudden the Shelby County school system has the money, so commissioners want to know where did the money come from since it was such an urgent need?" Commissioner Diedre Malone asked.

According to Ritz, while it's good news that the school board has found the money to make a number of repairs at the school, it's not good that board members made an urgent request for funding and then changed their minds.

"I have found this rather frankly embarrassing, that we are sitting on the Needs Assessment Committee and we find out that there are issues that we are not aware of, and more importantly it's almost a slap in the face to find out that they had the money anyway, and this commissioner is not a happy trooper right now," he said.

Commissioners voted to get more information from the School Board and take up the Millington Central High School issue again in two weeks.

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