Tentative agreement reached to start MCS school year on time - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Tentative agreement reached to start MCS school year on time

(WMC-TV) - Memphis Mayor A C Wharton huddled with officials from Memphis City Schools right up until the time a tentative agreement was approved by the city council's education committee Thursday.

"In theory, school will start August 8th," said parent and teacher Nakeesha Davis.  "And that's a great feeling."

Davis brought three children with her to city hall.

"Just praying for the best," she added.

The emergency meeting came days after the school board demanded a lump sum of $55 million or the school year would be delayed indefinitely.

Under the tentative agreement:

- The city will pay the district $15 million by August 15

- More payments will be made monthly, based on reduced enrollment rates

- The total will eventually equal around $68 million

"It gives some predictability to MCS in terms of when the payments will come in," said Mayor Wharton.

The council committee's vote came after a two-hour meeting during which parents were heard.

"If we can get $10 million, $30 million, let's get these children educated," said one of them.

The school district's budget was also considered.  Cuts were questioned by those who thought the district had, perhaps, not cut enough.

"Did the superintendent take a cut in salary?" asked council member Janis Fullilove.  "No, he did not," answered an MCS official.

In the end, the agreed upon payment schedule was palatable to at least some on both sides of the debate.    

"We all want schools to start August 8th," said MCS board president Martavius Jones.

The MCS board will meet Friday night in a special called meeting.  Jones will recommend approval of the agreement.

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