Metro Schools’ 2018-2019 Budget Proposal

Equity and Excellence – those are the two key values describing our goals and our focus for the 2018-2019 Metro Nashville Public Schools operating budget. Metro Schools will focus on Our Students and Our People in the 2018-19 operating budget, with the majority of spending aimed at improving equity and excellence across the district.

We believe in equitable access and opportunities for all students regardless of where they come from and we believe all students benefit from excellent, high-quality instruction and high expectations in every subject and in every classroom across the district. Those guiding values will shape the 2018-2019 operating budget proposal currently in development.

This Year's Budget

For the 2017-2018 school year, MNPS estimated an enrollment increase of 1,500 students; however, the district actually experienced an enrollment decrease of 500 students.

What does this mean for this year’s budget? It means the district experienced a net loss of funding for approximately 2,000 students and, because the state allocates BEP funding based on enrollment, the district will receive $7.5 million less for this year’s operating budget than anticipated. For the remainder of the 2017-2018 fiscal year, the district will review all spending – above and beyond daily operational practices. - to better align the remainder of this budget year’s expenses with available funds. This will not affect budgeted classroom positions.

Our budget Process Timeline

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Looking to Next Year’s Budget

We must be committed to looking at our work through an equity lens at all times—removing social, economic and other obstacles that disadvantage children from succeeding in school and we must be committed to creating excellence by design—with intentional and strategic investments and emphasis that improve student outcomes. Metro Schools will focus on Our Students and Our People in the 2018-19 operating budget, with the majority of spending aimed at improving equity and excellence across the district.

Our priorities for the 2018-2019 operating year are:

  • Social & Emotional Learning
  • Literacy
  • Employee Compensation


Our Students

We plan to invest additional resources into social and emotional learning to address the many needs our students bring with them to the classroom, while also addressing attendance and a need for additional counseling supports to ensure our students have what they need to be college and career ready. In an effort to strategically use our resources to support the work of social and emotional learning with the district’s quadrant-based model, 35 current positions in student support services will be repurposed to better serve our schools and students. We value the work and commitment these employees have shown in delivering a great public education for every student. Metro Schools always considers the impact to our employees with these decisions and affected employees will be able to reapply for the new positions or any other vacancies within the district.

These changes will create more accountability, structure and support to clusters and quadrants around SEL.

Student-Related Priorities:

  • Social & Emotional Learning
  • Literacy


Our People
More than 11,000 employees support the work of our district every day. Investing in our employees is a priority to ensure we recruit and retain the highest-quality staff. Through this proposal, the district is increasing compensation for all staff, while also looking specifically at para-educator salaries.

Employee-Related Priorities:

  • Employee Compensation


Title I & Student-Based Budgeting

After carefully considering feedback from the community, families, faculty and staff about reallocating Title I funds for the upcoming school year, Metro Schools will reallocate these funds on a phased-in approach.

As an underfunded school district, we must be intentional in allocating our funds in a way that supports all of our students, especially those that need it the most.

For the upcoming school year (2018-2019), Title I funds will be allocated in the following manner:

  • Schools that fall within the 50 to 74 percent poverty range will receive Title I funding, though it will be a less than previous years.
  • Schools that fall above the 75 percent poverty threshold will receive additional Title I funding, ensuring our students who need additional resources the most will have access to them. This category of schools includes 39 schools that have a 100 percent poverty level. One-hundred twenty of the district’s traditional public schools participate in Student-Based Budgeting, which gives principals the autonomy to decide how to build their budgets based on their students’ unique educational, social and emotional needs.

For the upcoming operating budget, the district will add $7.2 million to the Student-Based Budget allocation through an increase of the dollar amount allocated for each student. With the exception of six schools, every school is receiving a higher per-student allocation. Metro Schools does operate non-traditional schools that do not participate in Student-Based Budgeting because of their unique nature as a program. Those schools receive a direct allocation from the district's budget.

By state law, charter schools receive the total state and local revenue per pupil based on the number of students they have enrolled. For fiscal year 2018, $111,149,000 was distributed to charter schools. The projected charter distribution for fiscal year 2019 is $125,107,000.

Schools that experience a decrease in enrollment could see their Student-Based Budget allocation decrease and some may also see their Title I allocation decrease because they are below the 75 percent poverty level. School Year 2018-2019 School Allocations

Breaking Down the Budget

Follow along on our blog MNPS Children First as we share information about each budget priority for the 2018-2019 school year.

State of Schools Address

On March 28, Dr. Joseph shared the district's budget priorities, future plans and current successes during his annual State of Schools Address. Click here to read Dr. Joseph's full speech.