Superintendent seeks solutions for funding city schools - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Superintendent seeks solutions for funding city schools

On Wednesday, Memphis City Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash told the Shelby County Commission that the school system is $100 million short, and if they can't come together to find an answer, the schools will close next year.

"We have an immediate need. Immediate," he said.

Cash pleaded the same case with the Memphis City Council last month. He says he's taking his plea to every government body from Memphis to Nashville to help the children.

"Now, what I'm hoping is all good parties, all good leaders will come together and work on a solution," he said.

Cash says there's no steady funding source. "What will be the funding solution for the Memphis City Schools?"

The local sales option tax and county taxes are not enough.
    
And now that the city has yanked its funding, the state has the right to opt out, too.
    
The school system is suing the city to require it fund the schools.
    
Cash says the dilemma has his administration in talks with county schools to consider easing the problem by putting a school tax rate on the ballot.

"Working out a plan where the school boards of two bodies take the tax rate issue directly to the people," he said.

Cash says we'll all pay more if we don't find a solution.

"If you back away or if you have a solution that doesn't really have a solution for these 104,000 children, then one way or another you will pay for that," he said. "And you will pay for it and it will be more expensive."

Cash says he's just laying out the case. He remains open to other ideas, and he'll leave the solutions to government leaders.

He says he expects a positive outcome.


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