SCS Superintendent tells Germantown they’re not interested in making a quick buck

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MEMPHIS, Tenn.  --    Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson responded to reports that the City of Germantown's offer to buy Germantown Elementary and Middle School wasn't in the best interest of the district.

Hopson said when the municipal district was created  approximately 70% of the students at those schools didn't live in Germantown, and it wasn't a good idea to let go of the schools then.

Now he says 90% of the students aren't Germantown residents so selling them is even less of an option now.

Germantown Mayor Mike Palazzolo sent  Hopson a letter earlier this month asking to buy the two schools that bear Germantown's name but don't belong to the city district.

Palazzolo was then joined by City Administrator Patrick Lawton and School Superintendent Jason Manuel at last week's county commission meeting where their offer was publicly brought up, by Shelby County Commissioner Mark Billingsley, as a potential solution to SCS's funding gap problems.

The Germantown group sat through the lengthy meeting waiting to see if their offer was considered.

Tuesday night, Hopson expressed concerns that the timing of the offer was in bad taste.

"I think the thing that concerns me more than anything about this and other kinds of issues is just the timing. Because the obvious reaction is it's somehow related to the budget and 'can we help you make a quick buck?' we're not in this game for a quick buck. We have an obligation to educate kids. And we want to make sure we don't put ourselves in a position that's going to affect adversely our ability to do that."  said Hopson.

Germantown's school system is dealing with a space crisis.

Board members who promised to eliminate portable classrooms from the elementary schools once they got local control of the district added them to schools where there were no portables.

Germantown's Dogwood Elementary technically has more students that the state allows but can round down and not be in violation of the law. A handful of additional students could spell trouble.

Purchasing Germantown Elementary would allow the district to shuffle students and immediately solve the overcrowding issue without having to build a new school building.

SCS appears to have no interest in selling saying it wasn't about a price of $5 million of $15 million, but making sure they're acting in the best interest of 90% of the students who attend the schools Germantown Municipal wants.

WREG reached out to Germantown leaders for a comment Tuesday night and did not get a response.

Hopson says these comments are his own, and the board will make a final decision, but several board members tell WREG they have no interest in selling those schools and suggest Germantown begin building a new school building quickly to solve their overcrowding problem.

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