The Commercial Appeal reported:
Jim Mitchell of Southern Educational Strategies, who conducted the municipal schools feasibility study for five of the suburbs, has consistently noted that 44 county schools were absorbed by the Memphis City Schools because of annexation since the mid-1960s. Mitchell said their research shows the city did not pay for any of those buildings.
“That is not what’s been done in this county for 45 years,” Mitchell told a crowd of about 350 people at a Bartlett town hall forum on the feasibility study.
Let’s say it simply: he is wrong.
It would be confusing enough for any school consultant to make such a mistake, but for the former superintendent of Shelby County Schools to do it, it sounds like some of the facts are being skewed to fit the towns’ preconceived opinions.
If Mitchell’s research shows that Memphis City Schools has taken county schools through annexation and not paid anything for them, he needs to hire a new researcher.
There have been torturous negotiations to give county government financial consideration when the annexing of previously county schools into Memphis took place, using waivers of ADA funding requirements, offsetting financial credits, or through joint design of schools by city and county school district.
We are puzzled by the misstatement of the facts, but then again, if Mr. Mitchell can get the people in the towns to believe that their tax increase for schools will only be 15 cents, he can get them to believe anything.