The Unified School Board voted last night to endorse the County-wide, half-cent sales tax increase on the November ballot with 14 of the 23 members supporting the measure.
The increase was placed on the ballot by the Shelby County Commission earlier this year.
The high stakes have prompted the formation of a new group to oppose the increase.
"Stand up for Kids" is made up of suburban leaders, and Reverend Kenneth Whalum, a school board member representing the city.
The group says a sales tax support group, "Stand for Children" is spreading lies about the revenue that would be generated from the 1/2 cent sales tax increase.
Stand for Children counters that state law requires 50% of any sales tax increase to be dedicated to public education.
Voters in Memphis, Milligton and Unincorporated Shelby Co. are voting on the increase. In August, Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown and Lakeland passed sales tax increases of their own. If the county-wide measure passes, some of the municipalities may collect less for their new municipal districts.
State law mandates that half of the money generated from the sales tax must go to schools (Tenn. Code Ann. § 67-6-712).