Group predicts unified school district will lose $130 million in revenue

(WMC-TV) – A consulting group says the new unified school district could lose $130 million in revenue. That is on top of the millions the district could lose from the City of Memphis.

Transition Planning Commission President Barbara Prescott spoke with Action News 5 about the massive financial hole the new unified school district could be dealing with in 2013.

"We're still not at a place yet at a place yet of a balanced budget in terms of the revenues we would have coming to us," said Prescott.

The Boston Consulting Group and the Transition Planning Commission in charge of the merger came up with the following projections:

  • With Municipal School districts and the overall decline of student enrollment, more charter and achievement schools plus retiree costs, the projections have the district losing about $130 million in revenue.
  • Without any financial help from the City of Memphis and a mandated salary requirement from the new Norris-Todd law, another $90 million could be gone from the schools' budget.

Some solutions discussed by the school leaders consist of privatizing custodial services and transportation, closing underutilized schools, reducing the workforce, eliminating duplicate positions and getting help from state lawmakers in Nashville.

With less than 15 months to go before the Memphis City/Shelby County schools merge, school leaders have the daunting task ahead of them to close the financial gap.

The next meeting, in which school leaders will discuss financials, will be held May 31.

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