Funding crisis over schools goes before a judge - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Funding crisis over schools goes before a judge

Wednesday, the fight over the funding crisis for Memphis City Schools was in front of a judge as the two sides appeared in court.

With Charter Schools and the Memphis Education Association joining in, it adds six new parties to the very complex case.

The Charter Schools now say they have the most to lose from the Memphis City Council's actions.  The council cut $66 million from the city school budget to lower taxes, money they say is voluntary.

After the vote came down, Operation Rainbow PUSH sued on behalf of several of its members who have children in the school system.

Memphis City Schools then joined the lawsuit.

Now, five charter schools said they do not have reserve funds like City Schools and the teacher's union is concerned about its members.

"Our point was: what about the janitors?  Why aren't they involved? I think MCS will adequately represent everybody's interest from that point of view.  We're obviously going to represent the city's interest," City Council attorney Allan Wade said.

Memphis City Schools officials are worried because the Tennessee Department of Education could withhold $432 million in state money if the council doesn't give them the money.

The case is back in court Friday to determine if Rainbow PUSH has standing in the case.

All parties are due July 17th when the judge is scheduled to make a ruling.

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