Suburban Separation Means Shelby County Schools Could Lose Millions

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(Shelby County, TN) Shelby County Schools could lose at least $50 million next school year.

"The bigger impact is going to be the funds available to give kids what they need," said school board member Chris Caldwell.

Caldwell said the district could lose more than $52 million next school year.

It all depends on how many students leave the district when the six suburbs launch their own schools.

Some funding is based on the number of students in a district, so fewer students means less money.

Lakeland, Arlington, Germantown, Collierville, and Bartlett are breaking away from Shelby County Schools, because Memphis is now part of the district.

"There are costs that the district cannot get rid of in the short run just because they lost the students. There are things like future costs for retiree benefits," said Caldwell.

Critics said the suburban separation will not only hurt the budget, but it will layoff hundreds of office employees and teachers.

"It's not going to be so easy where every student leaves, and that's the same number of teachers . You might have a teacher with a smaller classroom, which may be beneficial for the children, but more expensive for the district," said Caldwell.

Caldwell is worried the district could lose quality teachers and administrators, all concerns he said the board hopes to work out in the next few months.

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