School funding crisis to cost taxpayers no matter the outcome - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Nick Kenney

School funding crisis to cost taxpayers no matter the outcome

The current funding crisis within Memphis City Schools will likely cost taxpayers no matter what. Officials said Thursday that, even if they don't have children in school, taxpayers will pay for any legal battle between the school district and the city.

Both the Memphis City Council and Memphis City Schools employ staff attorneys.  The school board also retains outside representation, which is where the city could incur extra costs.

Though city officials don't have an estimate of how much the lawsuit will cost, some school board members say it will be worth it.

"But whatever the cost is, it is monticule when you start considering the waste of millions upon millions of dollars year after year," said school board member Kenneth Whalum, Jr.

Wednesday Governor Phil Bredesen blamed the Memphis City Council for the current funding crisis surrounding Memphis city Schools.

"Us grown-ups need to each individually step up to what our responsibilities are," he said.

But Whalum blames the state.

"It's the state acting irresponsibly by withholding or threatening to withhold 420 million dollars when the city council is only withholding sixty or seventy million dollars in an effort to be fiscally responsible," he said.
Whalum said he hopes the school district will file another lawsuit - this time, against the state, regardless of the added cost.

The school board's case against the city is scheduled to be heard at Chancery Court next Thursday.

Click here to send an email to Nick Kenney.

Powered by Frankly