The entity formerly known as Memphis City Schools has announced itself willing to go to court to make the City of Memphis pony up a divorce settlement — even as a new marriage between the city’s schools and the rest of Shelby County is under attempted arrangement by city schools officials.
In other words, the Memphis school system’s flawed fundraising mechanisms and faulty fiscal planning have ensured that folly and cantankerous political fallout will persist throughout the foreseeable future. From the Commercial Appeal Thursday:
The Memphis City School board has filed to garnishee the city of Memphis’ bank account at First Tennessee for $57.4 million as “a last resort” effort after years of court rulings and no response.
The paperwork was filed Wednesday in Chancery Court.
“Yesterday marked the two-year anniversary of the Chancery Court’s final order requiring the City of Memphis to fund the Memphis City Schools,” said board attorney Dorsey Hopson.
…The City Council promised $78 million to the district for this year beyond the $57 million it owes from 2008.
The district has received about $21 million in sales tax and other revenue from the city for the current year, leaving it short another $57 million or a total of $114 million.
Council chairman Myron Lowery said the city is exempt from garnishment and minced no words blasting the district’s maneuver.
“Our city is exempt from garnishment, and I’m surprised that the school board’s attorney didn’t know this,” he said. “I think this is stupid. “
Early voting the week before the referendum on the future of Memphis City Schools has been reported as low. As of Wednesday, just a little more than 4 percent of eligible Memphis voters had cast ballots during early voting, according to WREG Channel 3. The referendum is Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the city schools board is weighing whether to extend its superintendent’s contract through a transition period.