NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Metro Nashville Public Schools Board approved a budget that requires more money than what’s being allocated by the Mayor.
During Tuesday’s meeting, the school board was presented with two options. They could approve a budget of $929.4 million that required additional funding of almost $15 million from Metro. The proposed budget also includes cuts by MNPS like a reorganization of the central office saving about $1 million and school consolidations that look to save about $3.5 million.
The second option was approving a budget that met what Metro allocated, which was $914.9 million. MNPS would then have to make additional cuts from district services and school budgets. MNPS leaders said more than likely school positions would have to be reduced because that’s what the majority of school budgets cover.
“I just hate to see us get to a point where we are losing positions at the schools,” said board member Jill Speering. “In terms of central office. Anyone who is not directly impacting students I think their jobs should be questioned. And our resources, our money, our time should go toward ensuring that our students are cared for.”
The board ultimately voted unanimously to take the bigger budget to metro council.
“Please, advocate to the council it’s already been said, we shoulda coulda woulda had this property tax increase 3 years ago, we shoulda woulda coulda already had the money that would have supported us through this time for whatever political reasons we didn’t,” said board member Christiane Buggs. “The tide has definitely changed, and we do have what a 20 person new council. They have almost all said that education is if not their top priority, close to it, I think it’s on us to request this moral budget to make sure we are putting all of our needs on the table.”
The school board also approved school consolidations that will affect Buena Vista Elementary, Alex Green Elementary, and Robert E. Lillard Elementary, Jones Paideia Elementary Magnet, Cumberland Elementary, Haynes Middle and Joelton Middle School.
The board will present the budget proposal to Metro council for final approval on Thursday.