board of education approves
fy2019-20 budget proposal.
Total Proposed Operating Budget | $962.9 million
Increase over FY2018-19 | $76.6 million
Increase over FY2018-19 | 8.6%
Metro Nashville Public Schools educates more than 85,000 students, and with 11,000 people on staff, is among the largest employers in the region. The 2018-19 budget year was especially challenging for MNPS, after enduring $15 million in required budget cuts.
On April 9, the Metro Nashville Board of Public Education passed a budget proposal that it believes is critical to serving the district’s students and staff. It includes funding to:
attract and retain a talented staff of educators,
keep the curriculum up to date, and
preserve its successful pre-Kindergarten program as its federal funding is expiring.
In addition to a cost of living increase for all staff, MNPS is proposing a $1-an-hour raise for its bus drivers and monitors. The district also needs to fund the ongoing work for the Oracle R12/Taleo program, a much-needed service that will modernize its human-resources and finance management systems, as well as teacher-recruitment programs.
On May 1, Mayor David Briley submitted his recommendation for funding public education to the Metro Council, which is expected to vote on the city’s funding plan June 18.
Top 6 investments
1. employee compensation | $54.8 million
The district is committed to fighting for employee pay increases. MNPS staff would receive a 10% cost-of-living adjustment and a step increase under the budget proposal, the first adjustment since FY2017-18. This increase is critical to helping staff keep up with the ever-rising costs of living in Nashville.
2. TEXTBOOKS | $2.75 MILLION
Students deserve access to relevant learning materials. This additional investment will help keep MNPS curriculum up-to-date. This budget focuses on science kits, plus history and social studies texts.
3. HOURLY RATE INCREASE FOR BUS DRIVERS AND MONITORS | $2.12 MILLION
The dedicated drivers and monitors of the MNPS school bus fleet deserve a higher hourly rate. They carry the city’s most precious cargo through increasingly crowded streets. And, as elsewhere across the U.S., competition for bus drivers is stiff in the Nashville labor market. The district proposes to double the attendance bonus for drivers and introduce an attendance bonus for monitors.
4. HR & FINANCE SYSTEMS UPGRADES | $1.49 MILLION
MNPS is joining Metro government in modernizing its human resources and finance systems. The school system expects to bring the new Oracle R12 system online in July 2019 and the Oracle Taleo talent management system in October. These systems will streamline HR work and speed the recruitment and hiring of MNPS staff, a critical need of the district.
5. STUDENT SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL SUPPORTS | $1.43 MILLION
These dollars will fund specialists trained to address trauma and family needs, as well as staffing for 12 Care Centers at elementary schools with the highest absence rates and behavior challenges. The care centers will provide school-based alternatives to suspension.
6. PRE-KINDERGARTEN PRESERVATION | $1.41 MILLION
This highly successful program, which sets up Nashville’s youngest students for academic success, is currently funded by a federal grant sunsetting in December 2019. The district has planned for this day, however, and this year’s budget proposal reflects the need to sustain the excellent work of its Pre-K staff and their deserving students.