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Shelby County Schools proposes balanced budget with new investments

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Shelby County Schools unveiled a proposed balanced budget for the 2017-2018 school year Monday, with nearly $50 million in new investments, including teacher salaries.

However, the proposal also calls for taking about $18 million out of the general fund balance for the school.

The preliminary proposal allowed for about $11 million in teacher raises. The new budget also cuts 94 teacher positions, but officials said those employees would have the option of relocating to other existing vacancies.

The district did not propose any staff layoffs.

Superintendent Dorsey Hopson attributed the budget improvements to stabilization within the district.

"We've been in a constant state of flux for four years: the merger, the de-merger," he said. "When you’ve been in constant state of reductions and cuts, to be able to bring a budget that’s balanced and invests in schools, it’s probably the reason everyone is here. At this point, the board may have more feedback and suggestions. The county commission may have feedback and suggestions."

District officials said they wanted to present a formal budget to the school board on April 15 and have it passed by July 1.