Tennessee governor weighs in possible MCS delay - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Tennessee governor weighs in possible MCS delay

(WMC-TV) - Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam weighed in Thursday in on the battle between the city of Memphis and Memphis City Schools over a possible delay in the start of school.

"I think what we can do is, once the judge makes a decision, to do everything we can to facilitate the merger if that's what the judge decides," Haslam said.

Early this week, MCS board members voted to indefinitely delay the start of the next school year until the school system receives $55 million dollars that the city owes.

Thursday, the city responded by offering a settlement agreement that includes $10 million dollars in future reserve funds. The offer was in addition to $3 million the city sent MCS on Wednesday as part of the $8 million it owes the school district from the school year that just ended.

"In the current situation, I don't know there is a role to play," Haslam said of involvement from Nashville. "I spoke to Mayor Wharton today. I think it's a local issue and will remain that."

Haslam added that he doesn't see the need for a state takeover any time soon...

"I don't see it coming to that," he said. "I think we're a long way from that happening.  Right now the state is working together with MCS on 4 schools we're going to jointly operate this year, but we're a long way from anything like that."

Haslam said city and school leaders must focus on what's best for the students in the weeks ahead.

"Our interest is obviously to do everything we can to make sure every child gets an opportunity to go to school, and the one point I'd make is that the state does have a legal minimum of 180 days of school, and we're going to make certain that happens."

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