City council committee approves plan to set aside money to pay b - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

City council committee discusses plan to set aside money to pay back schools

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The "Litigation Fund" must be approved by the full council before any money is actually set aside. The "Litigation Fund" must be approved by the full council before any money is actually set aside.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - The City of Memphis is considering setting aside millions of taxpayer dollars to pay Shelby County Schools in a longstanding lawsuit.

In 2008, Memphis City Council cut $57.5 million from the money they usually paid to schools. SCS sued for the money, and the city filed a counterclaim.

Years later, the debate continues.

Tuesday, a Memphis City Council committee neither approved nor voted down a proposal to set aside money to start paying the $57.5 million.

The courts ordered the city to pay the former Memphis City Schools system for the 2008-2009 school year.

By default, Shelby County Schools would be entitled the money, since SCS took over Memphis schools.

The "Schools Litigation Fund" proposal asks the mayor to put aside 12 installments of $4.8 million into the fund starting in 2015.

Council member Shea Flinn contends the school system owes the city.

"We could end up owing them nothing. So the $4.8 million is a little rich for what we could conceivably be paying down the line," he said.

"No matter how strong our position is, there's some small chance we could lose the litigation. So in case of a settlement or in case we lose the litigation, I say we should start planning now," added Memphis City Councilman Lee Harris.

The city's counter claim against the school system has not yet been heard in court. The counter claim says the schools owe the city upward of $140 million, and Flinn says the city should not pay anything until all claims have been heard.

The issue is currently in mediation.

The "Litigation Fund" must be approved by the full council before any money is actually set aside.

The council committee neither approved nor voted down the item. They will vote on it Tuesday night.

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