Public opinion sought on potential school budget cuts - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Public opinion sought on potential school budget cuts

(WMC-TV) - The meetings open for the public to weigh in on potential Shelby County budget cuts have been packed with concerned parents.

The people filling the meetings are upset about the possible cuts to school staff and activities.

District leaders outlined a rather bleak outlook for when the city and county schools officially merge. Right now, they are projecting a budget shortfall of up to $90 million. That is despite the fact that schools have already been closed, employee benefits have been cut, and nearly 200 central office staff has been laid off.

Shelby County parents, most of whom opposed the merger, remain the most fearful about what else might happen.

"I'm concerned they're going to cut necessary services my children need most," said Arlington High parent Annette Johnson.

"And we're hearing world class education for all kids, and you know, how are you going to do that?" asked Greg Johnson.

The Unified School Bard plans to vote on a budget as soon as next week. It will then be sent to the Shelby County Commission for consideration.

Some people believe it is inevitable that the commission will be forced to consider a property tax increase in order to pay for schools.

Tuesday night's meeting is also open to the public. It will begin at 6 p.m. at the Teaching and Learning Academy on Union Avenue.

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