'Rural school bond' latest wrinkle in schools battle - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

'Rural school bond' latest wrinkle in schools battle

(WMC-TV) - With six suburbs starting their own schools to avoid merging with Memphis schools, the battle is in high gear over who owns the school buildings in the suburbs.

"It's got me hot under the collars," Shelby County Board of Commissioners member Wyatt Bunker said.

An old controversy collided with a new one at the County Commission's latest budget meeting: the rural school bond.

Commissioners made sure everyone took note of the extra four-cents the suburbs pay on the county property tax rate. The suburban property tax rate is $4.06, versus $4.02 in Memphis.

That four cents is called the Rural School Bond.

"We have a unified school system. Why don't we have a unified tax rate?" Bunker asked.

Bunker was on the county school board in 2003, when the bond was approved to fund construction of Arlington High.

Back then, for every one dollar spent in the county, three had to be spent in Memphis.

The County Commission agreed not to spend the money on Memphis schools, when they built Arlington High.

Instead, they collected the "Rural School Bond" tax from the suburbs for the 29 million dollar project.

That old controversy resurfaced in the fight over who now owns Arlington High.

"Nobody in Memphis paid on that school," commissioner Terry Roland said.

"Now that the boundaries of the school system incorporate the entire county, wouldn't everyone share in that tax?" Bunker asked.

"There's not any provision in state law that would allow you to spread that out countywide," Shelby County Attorney Kelly Raines said.

"You're targeting one part of the population to pay for their schools and the other schools in the other parts of the community, and the other part of the community just pays for their own schools," Bunker said.

Bunker says a lawsuit could follow this latest rift.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

  • News on WMCTV.comNewsMore>>

  • BREAKDOWN: Can you have thunder without lightning?

    BREAKDOWN: Can you have thunder without lightning?

    Sunday, May 27 2018 12:06 PM EDT2018-05-27 16:06:38 GMT

    In an earlier Breakdown video, we told you about the process that causes lightning and how powerful a bolt is when it strikes the ground. In this episode of the Breakdown, we will discuss thunder and answer the question of, can you have thunder without lightning? First, a quick recap on lightning: a bolt of lightning is as hot as 54,000 degrees Fahrenheit--that is more than five times hotter than the surface of the sun! The air around the bolt heats up rapidly and it...

    More >>

    In an earlier Breakdown video, we told you about the process that causes lightning and how powerful a bolt is when it strikes the ground. In this episode of the Breakdown, we will discuss thunder and answer the question of, can you have thunder without lightning? First, a quick recap on lightning: a bolt of lightning is as hot as 54,000 degrees Fahrenheit--that is more than five times hotter than the surface of the sun! The air around the bolt heats up rapidly and it...

    More >>
  • The one year anniversary of Memphis in May-hem

    The one year anniversary of Memphis in May-hem

    Sunday, May 27 2018 10:16 AM EDT2018-05-27 14:16:11 GMT
    The toppled Tom Lee MemorialThe toppled Tom Lee Memorial
    The toppled Tom Lee MemorialThe toppled Tom Lee Memorial

    May 27 marks the one year anniversary of a devastating wind storm that struck Memphis and the Mid-South and was later dubbed Memphis in May-hem.  On the evening of Saturday May 27 a line of strong storms moved southeast out of southern Missouri and into northeastern Arkansas.  The day had been very warm and muggy and was ripe for fueling any storms that entered the area.  This was also the final day of festivities in Downtown Memphis at Tom Lee for Memphis In May a...

    More >>

    May 27 marks the one year anniversary of a devastating wind storm that struck Memphis and the Mid-South and was later dubbed Memphis in May-hem.  On the evening of Saturday May 27 a line of strong storms moved southeast out of southern Missouri and into northeastern Arkansas.  The day had been very warm and muggy and was ripe for fueling any storms that entered the area.  This was also the final day of festivities in Downtown Memphis at Tom Lee for Memphis In May a...

    More >>
  • 901Fest caps off the Memphis in May festivities

    901Fest caps off the Memphis in May festivities

    Saturday, May 26 2018 11:20 PM EDT2018-05-27 03:20:41 GMT
    (Source: WMC Action News 5)(Source: WMC Action News 5)
    (Source: WMC Action News 5)(Source: WMC Action News 5)

    Saturday afternoon Memphians filled Tom Lee Park by the river to celebrate everything 901. 

    More >>

    Saturday afternoon Memphians filled Tom Lee Park by the river to celebrate everything 901. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly