Herenton says school funding "fiasco" should have been avoided - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Herenton says school funding "fiasco" should have been avoided

Former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton believes the current school funding crisis should have been avoided. Former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton believes the current school funding crisis should have been avoided.

(WMC-TV) - The man who spent time as both the mayor of Memphis and the superintendent of Memphis City Schools weighed in Friday on the school funding debate.

Gospel hits preceded Dr. Willie Herenton's radio appearance Friday on WLOK radio, but he soon delivered a few hits if his own, both on-air and during an interview with Action News 5.

"I mean, it's a national embarrassment for us to be at this particular point," he said.

Herenton believes certain politicians have been absent of leadership in the ongoing school funding crisis.

"This fiasco should have been avoided," he said.

Herenton said the issue first started while he was mayor, when the Memphis City Council first withheld money from the school district.

"I opposed that," Herenton said. "I advised the council it was not a wise decision. They ignored it"

Herenton believes the school board made the right decision by forcing the city's hand by threatening to delay the school year.

"I think the board was forced to play a strong hand," he said. "They did, and I think they will prevail."

Herenton dismissed those who suggest roots of the school funding crisis can be traced back to his administration.

The former mayor added that he will continue to comment on policy, but as an observer, and never again as an elected official.

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