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VOL. 128 | NO. 228 | Thursday, November 21, 2013

Bartlett, Collierville Reach Tentative Schools Deals With County

By Bill Dries

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There are now four tentative agreements between Shelby County Schools and suburban leaders for the formation of suburban school districts.

MCDONALD

Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald confirmed Thursday, Nov. 21, that his city and Shelby County Schools have reached a tentative agreement in which Bartlett would pay Shelby County Schools $7.2 million over 12 years at $608,000 a year.

Collierville leaders reached a tentative agreement later Thursday with Shelby County Schools that involves a payment by Collierville to Shelby County Schools of $5.1 million over 12 years at $507,819 a year.

The payments in both cases are based on the same formula used in the earlier, still-tentative agreements with Arlington and Lakeland leaders that designate the money for retirement expenses and costs that remain with Shelby County Schools after the suburban school systems separate.

All of the Shelby County Schools buildings within the Bartlett and Collierville city limits are transferred to the forming municipal school systems in each suburb via a quit claim deed that sets the price for the buildings at a token $10.

The agreements, like the other two, allow all involved to say the higher dollar amount isn’t for the buildings but is for Shelby County Schools funding needs, even though the buildings and their transfer are tied to the annual payments listed elsewhere in the documents.

It also includes an agreement by the Shelby County Commission to drop Bartlett and Collierville from the commission’s still-pending claim in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee that contests the creation of the municipal schools districts on constitutional grounds.

The tentative agreements with Bartlett and Collierville probably will go to Shelby County Schools board members at their regular meeting Tuesday, Nov. 26.

McDonald and other Bartlett leaders were working Thursday to determine if the agreement would go to Bartlett’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen at its regular Tuesday meeting or a special meeting the day before or the day after that session.

The Bartlett and Collierville school boards elected earlier this month will also vote on the agreement once they take office next month.

Negotiations continue on similar agreements between Shelby County Schools and Germantown and Millington.

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