Once upon a time, in a far away land, there was a couple that had four children, 3 girls and a boy.

The couple had a combined income of $100,000.  The husband earned $40,000 annually and the wife earned $60,000 annually.

One day the husband comes home and says he wants a divorce and he wants custody of the boy.

The wife realizes that if she does nothing, she’d be forced to provide for the 3 children by herself on 40% less income, while the husband, not necessarily being able to live the “high life,” can provide for him and his son on $40,000.  Simplistically speaking, with the combined income of $100,000, $25,000 was spent on all 4 children, but if the divorce is granted, the wife would have $20,000 for each of the 3 girls, but the husband would have $40,000 to spend on his 1 son.

What should the wife do?  Should she sit idly by and let the husband leave and take the son or should she do something that she hopes would prevent a divorce from being granted?

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, MCS is the wife!

Here’s a law that’s currently on the books and there never has been any talk of repealing it, but is provided the basis for my introducing the resolution to surrender the charter of MCS:

TCA 49-2-107 Special school districts – Taxes. Any person owning property located in special school districts in this state which were created by a private act shall be required to pay such taxes as are levied by the private act creating or amending the school district.

In reading the above law, do you see anything that would say to a non-Memphis resident of Shelby County, “Oh, by the way, you MUST continue to pay for the school system that you used to fund (MCS) before you had your special school district? There’s nothing in existing law that compels continued funding from those residents that live outside the city limits of Memphis.

Property outside the city limits of Memphis accounts for 40% of all property value in Shelby County.  MCS relies on the funds collected from property taxes from all of Shelby County to provide educational services to its students.  MCS’s funding sources ranked by largest provider are: (1) State of Tennessee, (2) Shelby County Government, (3) Federal Government, (4) City of Memphis, & (5) All others.

I have never stated that dissolving MCS and transferring its administration to SCS would automatically improve educational outcomes for the children of Memphis.  I do believe that there could be some educational benefits if we combined what’s working well in each system and spread those practices throughout the entire county for every child.  That stated, the strategy could better be described as one to protect the well-being of the children of Memphis, versus improving it, just as the wife in the fairy tale was doing.