(WMC-TV)- Six suburban cities are voting on municipal school referendums and whether or not to increase their sales taxes, property taxes or both in order to fund those schools. But what's the next step if the cities approve the measures?
Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald actually faces several pending lawsuits. The most notable is a federal suit which challenges the constitutionality of forming municipal school districts.
If the municipal school district referendum passes, McDonald says the first thing on the city's agenda are school board elections and the hiring of a superintendent. Residents would also immediately begin paying higher taxes.
"If the sales tax referendum passes, starting next month, we'll start collecting those taxes and start putting that money aside," said McDonald.
Not only do municipalities face litigation, but as a city resident, Martavious Jones says he plans to file suit to prevent cities like Bartlett from receiving Shelby County school buildings for free.
"What's the logic behind receiving 100 percent of the buildings for free when your contribution is not going to be much more than the 6 percent of the population they represent," Jones said.
However, McDonald isn't deterred.
"We're going to take whatever time, energy, or money to get this done, it's that important to us," he said.
The Bartlett mayor says if the referendum passes, school may start after Labor Day next year in order to give the new district time to get up and running.