Videos give mayor's take on budget, school funding

Via Vimeo, Mayor Wharton's office put out some sharply-produced web presentations on how City of Memphis got into this school funding fix that has painful budget cuts and tax raises on the table. They sent them out via email, Facebook and Twitter. Ah, remember when the mayor of Memphis tried to shape the narrative by calling a big press conference at City Hall to lecture reporters on his version of reality?

Anyway, the first is titled "How Did We Get Here," and features some 2008 anti-school board audio from City Council members Harold Collins, Wanda Halbert and Myron Lowery that future political opponents may find useful. The caption to it reads, "A short video explaining the origins of the dispute between the City of Memphis and Memphis City Schools regarding school funding."

How Did We Get Here? from Mayor Wharton on Vimeo.

The second, titled "Property Tax Pennies," actually was updated later Friday with some adjustments, but it basically points out that while City Council slashed the city's contribution to Memphis City Schools in 2008, it did not slash taxes and instead spent tax revenues elsewhere. Its caption reads, "A brief explanation of the Memphis City Council's 2008 cut in school funding to Memphis City Schools and the impact on the tax rate."

PROPERTY TAX PENNIES - updated from Mayor Wharton on Vimeo.

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As the process for merging Shelby County's schools accelerates into action, we'll provide bonus coverage here at, with a particular focus on the 21-member transition team and the 23-member unified school board. Comment early and often. If you have any tips or suggestions you wish to share, contact Zack McMillin at or 529-2564.

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