Budget 2020

Employee pay, textbooks and systems upgrades

included in fiscally responsible proposal.


Total Proposed Operating Budget | $918 million

Increase over FY2018-19 | $31.7 million

Increase over FY2018-19 | 3.6%

MNPS 2020 budget proposal includes five top investments: cost of living, hourly rate increase for bus drivers/monitors, textbooks, pre-k preservation and HR and finance systems upgrades.

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. Last year was especially challenging for MNPS, after enduring $15 million in required budget cuts. This year, the district has a plan to regain momentum. Director of Schools Shawn Joseph and his budget team have assembled a fiscally responsible proposal to help:

  • 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.

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. 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.

Top 5 investments

1. Cost of Living Adjustments for Staff | $15 million

The district is committed to fighting for employee pay increases. MNPS staff would receive a 3 percent cost-of-living adjustment 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

A Look at the District

MNPS has 85,897 students: 29% white, 42% black, 25% hispanic and 4% asian. Seventy-two percent of students live at some level of poverty. The district has 167 schools and 187 pre-K classrooms. The district has 630 school busses which make over 31,000 stops a day. There are more than 11,000 MNPS employees, making it one of the largest employers in Nashville and Tennessee.

How you can get involved

Community Conversations

Metro Schools wants to hear from you and will host a series of budget community meetings throughout the city giving parents, families and staff many opportunities to ask questions and learn more about the district’s budget request. Join us at one of these meetings:

The Board of Education will also host one public hearing on March 19 at 5 p.m. at MNPS’ Central Office. See more dates below.

There are four community conversation meetings scheduled during the budget process in 2019. There are also Board Meetings, and one public hearing session.