(WREG-TV) The Shelby County school board agreed to a compromise so Arlington and Lakeland can create their own school districts.
The school board voted on the deal at a special meeting Tuesday evening. This includes SCS dropping discrimination lawsuits against the cities.
The county will give Arlington and Lakeland the deeds to the school buildings within their city limits, including the furniture inside.
That means four buildings for Arlington, and one building for Lakeland.
“There is no dollar amount paid for the buildings,” SCS board member David Pickler said.
Pickler also said he wanted residents to know they weren’t paying for buildings twice.
“Originally we talked about leasing, but leasing creates a lot of potential liability for the district so my understanding is what we’re going to see is the actual transfer of deeds to the municipals,” said school board member David Reaves.
Reaves said this is a compromise.
Arlington will give SCS $3.9 million paid over 12 years and Lakeland will give SCS $676,044 paid over 14 years to help with retirement and pension costs for SCS employees.
The county, Arlington, and Lakeland have come very close to settlements before, including last week.
“Each side wants exactly what they want, but both sides have realized for the betterment of everybody we must get some kind of deal done,” Arlington Mayor Mike Wissman said before the board agreed to the deal.
He later said, “We all had heartburn over it. The fact that both sides weren’t satisfied means it’s the right deal for everyone.”
The deal must also be approved by each city and the Shelby County Commission.
SCS board members tell News Channel 3 they expect the other municipalities to follow this template, with the exception of Germantown because it has to work out a dispute over school buildings.