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City makes annual payment to Shelby County Schools

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The city will make its annual installment of $355,453 to the Shelby County Board of Education (SCBE) as part of a settlement from a lawsuit filed by the Shelby County Commission.

The Germantown Board of Mayor and Aldermen upheld the agreement of compromise and settlement payment Monday night during their regularly scheduled meeting.

The payment is the third of 12 yearly payments to the SCBE for the settlement of litigation over the formation of the Germantown Municipal School District and the conveyance of Dogwood, Farmington and Riverdale elementary schools, Houston Middle School and Houston High School.

Germantown and the SCBE reached an agreement in December 2013 that the city would pay a $4.265 million settlement from a lawsuit alleging that the city’s efforts to create its own municipal school district were illegal and “motivated by racially-discriminatory intent” and that they “violated various constitutional provisions.”

City leaders vehemently deny this as motivation, stating they were interested in efficiency and preserving local control.

The agreement of compromise and settlement was executed by former mayor Sharon Goldsworthy in January 2014 and accomplished two objectives.

• Dismissed with prejudice all claims by the County Commission in the lawsuit.

• Conveyed five schools to the Germantown Municipal School District for full control, management and operation.

The annual payments must be made by November each year. The money is used to reduce retiree health and life insurance liabilities for Shelby County Schools faculty.