If you thought this year’s tumultuous Shelby County budget saga would end today — think again.
The county commission deferred a final vote on the budget Monday afternoon after finance officials said the commission’s plan to give local schools more than $28 million was too ambitious. The county should provide $24.7 million at most, chief administrative officer Harvey Kennedy told the commission. Just over $19 million of that would go to Shelby County Schools.
The recommendation would roll back an increase that the commission and Shelby County Schools officials negotiated last week, in the latest episode in a tug of war between the elected commission and county bureaucrats over the district’s funding.
Commissioners have the ultimate say over school funding and can overrule county officials’ recommendations. In the meantime, the county and district officials will go back to the negotiating table to figure out how to tackle the district’s budget gap, which commissioners have been unusually open to helping to close this year.
Superintendent Dorsey Hopson said he is hopeful the group will be able to make its way back to the compromise established Wednesday. The commission’s next meeting is June 29. A final budget must be in place by the start of the new fiscal year July 1.