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Memphis City Schools to start on August 8, 2011 as scheduled

August 4, 2011

After a long hot summer in the Mid-South, school will begin as scheduled in Memphis City Schools on August 8, 2011. After several months of strife between Memphis City Schools Board of Commissioners and the Memphis City Council, an agreement has been reached for the first day of classes for students to begin as scheduled on Monday, August 8, 2011. Memphis schools serve 106,417 students and employ 13,459 people including 7500 teachers.

At issue for the last several months, and stemming over the last three years, was the failure of the City Council of Memphis to allocate obligated funds to the school district which now amounts to $78 Million. After unsuccessfully working to resolve the matter, the Memphis City School Board on July 19 voted not to open school on August 8th as scheduled until the obligated funds were delivered. However, within the last week an agreement was reached according to informed sources from the Superintendent’s Office of The Memphis City Schools and subsequently published on the Memphis City Schools Board of Commissioners. According to the agreement, the City Council will pay the school district $12 Million Dollars by Friday, August 5, 2011 and will pay the remaining balance owed of $66 Million Dollars in 10 equal increments at agreed dates throughout the 2011-2012 school year.

According to The Memphis City Schools website, the amended 2011-2012 Budget is $1,164,651,507.00 with a projected positive balance of $121,764,086.00 in June of 2012. For the 2011-12 initial budget, revenue sources include: 39.18% from The State of Tennessee, 29.86% from Shelby County (Tennessee), 20.59% from The Federal Government, 6.7% from The City of Memphis and 3.6% from other local sources.

This situation illustrates the changing climate in fiscal policy for school districts, localities, and states.  The way things have been in the past simply may not work anymore.

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