(WMC-TV) - The Shelby County Commission is refusing to fund Municipal School Districts unless a judge forces them to pay up.
The latest legal maneuver is creating controversy in the battle over the county's public schools.
A legal document was filed Friday indicating the Shelby County Commission may refuse to provide funding to the proposed suburban municipal school districts.
This complaint amends a previous complaint that challenged the civil rights in new districts.
The document declares the commission will take whatever steps necessary to avoid funding the re-segregation of Shelby County Schools.
County Commission Chair Mike Ritz says if the commission starts to fund the municipal school districts and they are found to be segregated, they could be subject to penalties.
The suburbs' mayors are ready to fight for those funds.
"I've never seen a group of people so bent in withholding the rights of people as this group of eight commissioners. It's unconscionable that they would try to say, 'People of all races, not only here in Bartlett, TN, we don't care what you want. You're going to do what we say,'" said Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald.
A judge will hear the civil rights claims in court January 3.