City and County Leaders React to School Ruling

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(Memphis) You can bet there's not much love lost when the county sues the cities within its borders.

Shelby County Commission Chairman Mike Ritz says the judge's decision vindicates the commission`s claims about the suburbs, “We felt the special legislation was illegal what the state had done to allow the suburbs to expedite getting these municipal school districts in place and the judge agreed."

Ritz says now the Commission can move forward with the task at hand which is funding the unified schools, “We're going to be about fifty or sixty million dollars short, so now we can get on with our plans."

Ritz says those plans include figuring a way to overcome that shortfall and he says they will probably raise property taxes to pay for it.

Commissioner Chris Thomas is disappointed in the ruling but still has hope for municipal schools, “I'm just encouraging everyone to stay focused. I believe municipalities will get their school systems it's just a matter of time."

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton thinks the judge got it right, and the people in the suburbs who overwhelmingly voted to approve the districts may not like the judge`s decision now, but he thinks in time they will agree.

“Obviously they're not going to be overjoyed by that but this was not some liberal judge who just went out on a flight of fancy and did this it was well-reasoned,” said Wharton.