Bredesen discusses school funding crisis - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Nick Kenney

Bredesen discusses school funding crisis

In town to discuss long-term care for the elderly, Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen also took time to discuss Memphis City Schools and the current funding crisis.

"Us grown-ups need to each individually step up to what our responsibilities are," Bredesen said. "What the city council did was a clear backing away from their responsibilities to fund schools."

The Memphis city council voted to give the school system $27 million. Much less than the typical $90 million the city provides.

Memphis School board members said the council's cuts would mean the school district will not get $420 million from the state.

State representative GA Hardaway said the city and county must both contribute. If not, he says law requires the general assembly to stop state funding at a rate of $42 million a month. He said time is ticking.

"Come October, that's a drop dead date. If they have everything in order in October, come October first fine. If they don't, the state will withhold that payment," Hardaway said.

Bredesen said he is on board with sending a message.

"If we let this go unnoticed, if we just let it slide, then the other districts in the state will just say heck there's no consequences, we'll just take our money out, let the state worry about it," Bredesen said.

Worry that will go away with an answer to, who is going to pay for Memphis City Schools?

Click here to e-mail Nick Kenney.

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