Tonight's Memphis City Council meeting might provide some closure to the ongoing city school funding crisis.
Memphis mayor A C Wharton, Memphis City Schools (MCS) superintendent Kriner Cash, and City Council chair Harold Collins presented a proposal to the Council's education committee in which the city would pay $20 million to the school system by May 1st.
The city would then pay the district another $20 million by July 1st, to be followed by another $10 million payment October 1st. Under the agreement, voted unanimously by the education committee, the issues involved in litigation between the city and the city schools are still on the table.
"The courts will ultimately dispose of those issues," said Memphis mayor A C Wharton. "If the city schools are right, they will keep the money. If they're wrong, we'll have to come back."
The mayor will present the proposed 2011 fiscal year budget April 27th and it will include another $50 million for MCS.
"That will bring them to the whole $78.5 million, depending on their population," Wharton said.
In February, the City Council voted to fund the district by taking $30 million from city reserves, cutting $10 million from the current year budget, and giving the district a $10 million credit in money it owed city government. Under the current plan, the first two payments can be covered by current-year budget cuts and the reserve funding. The third payment can come out of next year's fiscal budget, eliminating the need to offer MCS a credit.
"By breaking it down like this, it solves some of the cash flow issue," Wharton said.
The full council will vote on the resolution later in today.