MCS Has Been Getting More Funding As Enrollment Has Fallen for 10 Years



The Memphis City Council and Memphis taxpayers have been overpaying Memphis City Schools for most of the last ten years.

A spread sheet released by the school system at the school board meeting Tuesday night, when a school shutdown in August was in all probability averted, shows that in years when enrollment declined, the city's payment usually increased. That has come to a stop this year, with the City Council likely to trim the city contribution from $78 million to $68 million under the so-called maintenance of effort requirement.

State law allows cities to reduce their school funding if enrollment falls. MCS enrollment is down 2,508 students, according to state figures released last week.

Enrollment figures are taken from the Tennessee Department of Education Report Cards.

In 2000, MCS enrollment was 116,378 and city funding was $69 million.
In 2001, enrollment was 115,878 and funding was $74.3 million.
In 2002, enrollment was 117,207 and funding was $81.5 million.
In 2003, enrollment was 126,923 (due to annexations) and funding was $79.3 million.
In 2004, enrollment was 115,598 and funding was $85.8 million.
In 2005, enrollment was 117,740 and funding was $85.5 million.
IN 2006, enrollment was 116,528 and funding was $92.2 million.
In 2007, enrollment was 110,753 and funding was $92.6 million.
In 2008, enrollment was 107,314 and funding was $94.2 million.
In 2009, enrollment was 104,829 and funding was $24.9 million.
In 2010, enrollment was 103,593 and funding was $64.3 million.

The funding amounts for 2009 and 2010 are in dispute, but courts have ordered Memphis to pay MCS an additional $57 million.

The school board agreed Tuesday to a proposal that would require Memphis to pay $15 million ($3 million of which has already been paid) by August 5th, and a payment schedule after that. The agreement must still be approved by the city council, which meets August 2nd.

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