NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A lot is at stake for tens of thousands of Nashville families and their students Monday.
New Metro Nashville Public Schools director Shawn Joseph will present his first budget before Mayor Megan Barry.
Help for English language learners, literacy teachers and a revamping of middle schools are among the priorities, but how much will the mayor and the Metro Council fund?
With notes and marks on each page, Amanda Kail carries the Metro school budget just about everywhere she goes.
The numbers come to life for her as one of the English learner and literacy teachers for the Nashville district’s 88,000 students.
Twenty percent of her students at Margaret Allen Middle School are English learners or E-L, so she sees a need for increased funding in that area, and putting a literacy coach in every school as part of the district’s budget.
“Every thing that we do in school is tied to literacy, even math. There is so much that kids need to know and understand and the expectations of what they are expected to understand have gone up considerably,” explained Kail.
Keeping good teachers in an urban school district is a lingering problem as the cost of living rises in Nashville while the city booms, so the Metro school budget includes money for 3 percent teacher and staff salary increases, but it’s not Kail’s most important item
“I think the most important thing that I need as an E-L teacher and a teacher in general is to make sure that we have teachers in our building and that we have enough teachers and we are able to retain those teachers,” said Kail.
Director Dr. Shawn Joseph this coming Monday takes the school budget directly to Mayor Megan Barry as part her hearings on the overall Metro budget.
Much of it she supports, but the mayor has already indicated that some of Metro’s school’s 902 million dollar budget request will have to go.
Whatever happens, Amanda Kail will be watching with budget in hand.
The budget also includes money for revamping middle schools, which are losing students in the very competitive world of education.