School districts head back to the books after asking for millions more

In a show of unity superintendents from both city and county schools sat together and asked together for a lot of your tax dollars. County School leaders want 23 million, City schools want 10 to 11 million. Both were told to try again and plan as if no new money was given. Memphis Superintendent Carol Johnson said that will be tough, "Any additional cuts beyond the ones we've taken already will certainly be support staff or others in school that support students and their learning." Johnson originally wanted 31.5 million dollars but cut fifteen million and borrowed five from a rainy day fund leaving the current 10-11 million dollar request. County Superintendent Bobby Webb wanted 26 million dollars but borrowed three million from his rainy day fund leaving a request for 23 million. Both Webb and Johnson agree most of the new money requests are unfunded or as they call them underfunded mandates from the state and federal government. Shelby County Superintendent Bobby Webb, "Health costs, retirement costs we have to pay and we have no choice in the matter we have to make them." Commissioner Bruce Thompson is irked by some of the requirements that require him to ask for budget cuts and maybe tax hikes, "I don't mind taking responsibility for actions I can control but I don't want to take responsibility for someone else pandering to particular groups of constituents." That's a concern for a later date...for now it's how to pay or where to cut. Commissioners and Superintendents will meet again July 7.