Unified Schools dealing with budget crater - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Unified Schools dealing with budget crater

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

The Unified School Board Tuesday evening tried to figure out how to plug a major spending gap for the new massive school system.

Estimates of just how much is missing, range around the $65 million, but that number could spike to well over $100 million if there are no cuts in jobs or services.

The Unified School Board went back and forth a half dozen times, but finally settled on asking for $145 million in additional funding.
That number comes from the $65 million suggested by the administrations of the schools systems, and adding an additional $85 million to staff the schools with the teachers and assistant principals at their current rate in the Shelby County Schools District.

The administration will present this preliminary budget to the county commission in a budget retreat in a few weeks.

The chances of the county commission agreeing to $145 million in additional funding does not look good, though. It's a 40 percent increase over the current funding level. Any county tax increase of 10 percent or more would take a super majority vote of nine yes votes. That is highly unlikely with suburban commissioner vowing to vote no for any tax increase.

If the commission rejects the budget, it goes back to the school board. The county commission is unlikely to approve anything with nine votes. To get approval with seven votes would take a tax increase of less than 10 percent, which means about $60 million for schools.

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