Money starting to add up for SCS budget - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Money starting to add up for SCS budget

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)
SHELBY COUNTY, TN (WMC) -

Negotiations for the Shelby County Schools budget are closer to being finalized after a county commission meeting Wednesday.

SCS asked the county commission for an extra $35 million to close the budget gap. Other sources of revenue will not solve the problem, but will get them closer.

"It's definitely a step in the right direction,” SCS Superintendent Dorsey Hopson said.

Hopson isn’t sure how big a step it is yet. He said that what started as a $68 million budget gap months ago could soon be a small fraction of that.

"Could probably decrease to somewhere around $10 million or $11 million,” Hopson said.

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell’s administration budgeted an extra $7 million for Shelby County Schools. Plus, the administration said the district underestimated its share of sales tax revenues by about $5 million.

There’s also the wheel tax, which people pay when getting a car tag. The district has been getting $16 million from that for a while, but the commissioners were tossing around the idea of putting an extra $16 million towards school operations. SCS’s share of that would be about $13 million.

In all, that makes an extra $25 million for SCS, which it would then have to share with charter schools and the state-run Achievement School District.

"I think at the end of the day, I think we're going to be real close to fulfilling that need,” Shelby County Commission Chairman Terry Roland said. “And the good thing about it: it's going to be without a tax increase."

That still leaves about a $10-11 million dollar gap, which will likely mean more cuts in the district’s budget.

"I mean, I think everything is on the table, so I don't want to sound the alarm,” Hopson said.

The goal will be making the smallest possible impact on kids in the classroom.

It will be at least another two weeks until the county commission finalizes the budget.

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