City of Memphis and Memphis City Schools face off in court - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

City of Memphis and Memphis City Schools face off in court

The City of Memphis and Memphis City Schools will face off in chancery court Thursday. Each has filed suit against the other over school money.

Memphis City Schools first filed suit against the city several weeks ago after the city council voted to withhold millions of dollars in funding from the district.

MCS claims the City of Memphis is obligated by the city charter and the State of Tennessee to approve a budget that "represents a maintenance of effort". MCS's lawyer says that means the city cannot cut the schools' budget, but the city's attorney argues that the city has done more than enough for the schools.

"We have given them everything. Assisted them with everything," said City Attorney Allan Wade. "We've provided schools for them, we provided air conditioning for them, and then we get sued. Gimme a break."

The City of Memphis filed a countersuit against Memphis City Schools in Chancery Court Tuesday for $152 million -- money they say the school system owes them for four unpaid school bonds over the last year 27 years.

The city's countersuit says the bonds, which went to pay for building schools and operating the district, totaled $217 million. The district has paid back $68 million, and now the city wants the remaining $149 million plus interest paid in full.

"Now we're requiring every little nook and cranny, and require every little dime that they owe us," said Wade.

The school board's attorneys would not comment on the suit.

A judge will hear the original lawsuit from MCS and the countersuit from the City of Memphis in chancery court Thursday.

Stay with Action News 5 and WMCTV.com for the latest from the courthouse.

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