School leaders take budgets to county commissioners - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Lori Brown

School leaders take budgets to county commissioners

Monday, both the Memphis City and Shelby County school districts pitched a proposed budget to Shelby County Commissioners.  Now, it is up to commissioners to decide how much money students will get.

County school leaders said their district needs $13 million more this year than last year, while leaders at Memphis City Schools said they need $7 million less.

But that is only if the city comes through with $93 million dollars.
"The city has not actually told us they're going to withhold funding.  Those reports have been in the newspaper, but we've not heard from the city yet," interim MCS Superintendent Dan Ward said. 

First, the County Commissioners combed through Shelby County's Budget with a fine tooth comb. Searching for any fat to trim.

Shelby County Schools Superintendent Bobby Webb said their budget increase is tied to an increase in the number of students attending school in the system.

"This is a bare bones budget," he said. "I don't know where we would go from here."

Next, commissioners put Memphis City Schools under the microscope.

Commissioners criticized MCS for losing records.

Commissioner Mike Ritz told Ward that, with enrollments decreasing, the district may have to make the tough decision of closing schools to save money.

"We've got to come to grips with the fact that every neighborhood wants a school, but we can't afford them," Ritz said.

In the end, it is not up to the county to decide what schools should cut, but Commissioners do control how much of the county's budget they will get.

Click here to e-mail Lori Brown.

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