Control of suburban school buildings: county or municipality?

In late November and early December, five of the six suburban Memphis cities have come to agreement with the County Commission and Shelby County School Board regarding the future ownership and use of the school buildings within their boundaries and requesting the federal district court to dismiss a lawsuit over the issue of suburban school districts. The City of Germantown, however, in which there are eight Shelby County Schools has not reached such an agreement and is arguing for possession of those all those schools. The Shelby County system, however, says that because high percentages of the pupils in three of those schools live in the City of Memphis or unincorporated areas, it wants to keep and operate them as county schools. This is a major issue for Germantown, as the county wants to continue to operate its three namesake schools in question: Germantown Elementary, Germantown Middle, and Germantown High.

In A Memphis Conversation, our panelists discuss the ownership and operation of the schools at issue. The community, governments, and school boards seem to have different points of view and that holds true for our conversationalists.


Length: 42 minutes, 14 seconds

Note: As of December 16, 2013, all the suburban municipal governments of Millington, Lakeland, Bartlett, Arlington,  Collierville, Germantown, the Shelby County Commission, and the Shelby County School Board have reached agreements which cover the ownership and control of school buildings within the limits of the suburban municipalities. The agreements provide that the school buildings to be deeded to the suburban school districts are for $10 upon condition the suburban municipalities provide a local education authority for at least 25 years and the dropping of the pending federal lawsuit over suburban schools. The agreements also calls for the municipalities to provide payments to Shelby County Schools for the purposes of retiree health and life insurance liabilities in the amounts listed below:
Lakeland: $676,044 over a period of 12 years at $56,337 a year,
Arlington: $3.9 million over a period of 12 years at $333,333 a year,
Bartlett:  $7.2 million over 12 years at $608,000 a year,
Collierville: $6 million over 12 years at $507,819 a year,
Millington:  $2.7 million over 12 years at $230,219 a year,
Germantown: 4.3 million over 12 years at $355,453 a year.

 

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