Muni-District Settlements – The Scoop

Last night the SCS approved, Arlington and Lakeland settlement agreements to end all litigation, transfer buildings, and start school in 2014. The framework of the agreement will be used to complete the agreements for the other municipalities. The big question that I get is: What is in the agreement?

1) Deed(not lease) to Buildings for $10

2) Monetary consideration to help the SCS fund GASB trust account for OPEB liability(retiree insurnace and benefits) – somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.5% of state BEP money for 12 years – For Arlington it was total sum of 3.99 million.. Lakeland was around 650K.

3) Agreement by county commission to settle the lawsuit and release them from the current lawsuit of state constitutional issues and 14th amendment issue for re-segregation. There is also a promise that the county commission will not file suit in the future.

Now let’s talk about the little known things:

1) The agreement contains a bill of sale which provides for all unencumbered assets in the school as of the day that SCS approves the agreement. This means that all items in the school that does not have a lien, lease, or debt  will remain. This protects all PTA investment as well as school based activity account.

2) The deed to the properties has “reverter langauge” that dictates what happens to the buildings is the LEA quits paying their settlement amount or the school system goes out of business. The reverter has two tiers. The first reverter expires in 12 years after all payments are fulfilled. If an LEA misses their payment, they have a process to catch-up. If they do not, the SCS can take it back. The 2nd tier runs concurrently with the 12 year but lasts a total of 25 years. If anytime in the 25 year period, the LEA goes out of business, the building will revert back. After the end of 25 years, the reverter expires. Clear deed.

3) Students boundaries will be confined to the municipal boundaries. Schools systems will determine their own open enrollment policies.

Next steps:

1) Town municipal leaders will vote to approve.

2) County Commission will vote approve on Thursday. The County mayor will sign.

3) Final ratification will come when municipal school boards are seated early December.

4) Memphis City council will vote to dismiss after all agreements are complete.(although they have little standing in lawsuit)

 

 

Stay tuned.. More agreements to come over the next few days.

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