Shelby County commissioners approve $23.4M for summer school projects

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SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. -- Some schools in Shelby County will receive summer funding after an emergency request was voted on Monday by Shelby County commissioners.

They approved $23.4 million to be used for summer capital projects, which could be anything from maintenance repairs to funding for charter schools.

Some commissioners had trouble with the agenda item because they felt it wasn’t proper protocol for requesting money for the school district and school board members weren’t the ones asking for it or there for the meeting.

Commissioner Walter Bailey was also listed as the sponsor for the item, but he said he didn’t know anything about it. Bailey requested to have the entire item pulled, but commissioners voted not to.

Commissioner David Reaves then volunteered to take over as the sponsor.

There were several people dressed in orange in the audience to show support for charter schools and achievement schools receiving these funds.

State requirements don't allow achievement schools and municipal schools to receive money unless SCS does.

Now that the money’s been approved, it’ll go before the Shelby County School Board where they’ll decide what summer projects they want to use it on. The board will then present those projects before commissioners for them to approve them.

Some commissioners were upset they don’t have more control over where the money will end up, while other commissioners said regardless, every student deserves it.

“At the end of the day, whether it makes you feel good or not, I’m worried about how it makes these kids feel," said Commissioner Terry Roland. "So that’s what we need to be working on folks, not being selfish about what school gets what. Let’s make sure it gets divided equally so each kid in Shelby County can get their equal share.”

They said this won’t have a role on the 2018 school budget, which hasn’t yet been voted on.