FOX13 News has learned MCS and the city of Memphis may begin negotiations over $57 million Memphis City Schools says the city owes them.
The Unified district, though, is facing a frightening budget shortfall. It's so serious that Mayor A C Wharton and MCS interim Superintendent Dorsey Hopson had a meeting about in February.
In a letter, Hopson told the mayor the current budget crisis will have a direct impact on students who live in Memphis if all the budget cuts proposed by the Transition Planning Commission are enacted.
Hopson reminded Mayor Wharton that he "expressed a desire to resolve this matter of the disputed $57 million."
FOX13 News has learned there has been an offer from either Hopson or his lawyers to settle the issue, but the city had not given a response. City Attorney Allan Wade told FOX13 News by phone the city's negotiating team has been put together.
Wade said the mayor and council are willing to negotiate a settlement, but will continue court proceedings if necessary. Any new money to the Unified School District is desperately needed. Shelby County Commissioner Mike Ritz has told the school board to expect only $5 million more this year to its budget, compared to what the commission gave the Shelby County School system in 2012.
A number of county commissioners have told FOX13 News privately that if Memphis owes any money to the soon to be defunct Memphis City Schools, now is the time to pay up.