Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Friday, June 13, 2008

School funding now a poker game

The funding of Memphis City Schools is becoming a poker game with 4 players:

1. Memphis City Schools Board of Education

2. Memphis City Council

3. Tennessee Department of Education

4. Shelby County Commission

The Memphis City Schools recently reduced its contribution to the MCS budget by $73 million. Now the Tennessee Department of Education is threatening to withhold $423 million from the district if the MCC does not restore funding. The city and state actions are based on different legal interpretations of state law. The city says that only county governments are obligated to fund school systems. The state says that once a local government funds a school system, that level of funding must be maintained.

Who will have to ante up? Who's holding the best cards? Who's going to call a bluff? I think a court judge will have a decide.

The new Superintendent of Memphis City Schools and many others in the school system may not have a job if this isn't settled by July 1. I have to think that the jobs of the majority of educators are safe. It's the MCS administration whose jobs are on the line. If the City of Memphis totally defunds the school system, the Shelby County School Board and Administration would likely take over.

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