After Mayor Karl Dean approves a version of the Metro School district’s budget, a proposal will move on to Metro Council for a final approval.
Council members in attendance at Monday’s budget hearing with Dean recognized the unusual circumstances of this year’s budget process.
Council member Ronnie Steine said that unless stimulus money can be leveraged into alleviating operating budget expenses, there would have to be cuts. With revenues for Metro government struggling, this is a “historic” budget year, he said.
“The historic nature is so unusual. We’ve got to pull out all the stops to get through the next budget,” he said. “They’re trying to make ends meet just to get through the end of this year. … Unfortunately the schools are in the same boat as everyone else, and that is an environment where … revenues are going to be less.”
Council member Tim Garrett said district administrators should be “trusted” to have corrected their errors in terms of federal funding.
“I think we have to have confidence that the individuals over there have recognized their mistake and have corrected it, and are spending the money the way they’re supposed to now,” Garrett said. “They’ve been notified about it a number of times, and everybody’s taken a shot at them. Hopefully they’ve got that corrected and we move on.”