Did you notice…?

In Uncategorized on July 27, 2011 at 8:18 am

Is anyone paying attention to what’s going on in Memphis? Ok, there’s quite a bit going on in my “adoptive” hometown, but I will start and end today’s conversation on school funding. Essentially, the Memphis City School Board has threatened to keep the schools closed until payment comes from the City of Memphis. And according to today’s Commercial Appeal, if the City’s payment plan is adjusted in the slightest, the school board will consider this a breach of contract. “Under the payment plan, nearly 80 percent of the city’s contribution will be in the schools’ bank account by early October, in time to cover startup expenses for the year and tiding the district over until the state’s roughly $450 million begins to flow in later that month.”

The last two years, the Commercial Appeal continues, “the city’s contribution trickled in through fall and winter, with the bulk arriving in late spring, creating cash-flow problems for the schools. Under the terms of the proposal, the city must also appropriate the funds and agree that the payment schedule is binding.” Memphis City School Board Member Kenneth Whalum stated that this in principle deal will be tested early on August 5–“If the amount is not deposited in our account, school does not open. The date makes me so happy and is the only reason I would be willing to support this.”

As certain Congressional leaders are in a stand off with President Obama over the debt, we have a stand off of sorts at the local level. It may not garner as much media attention, but the tentative deal Memphis City School Board struck with the City is highly important and significant. Memphis School Board President Martavius Jones informed his fellow board members that they leveraged bargaining power with this move. And if this deal falls through, who will pay the most?


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