Director of Schools Jesse Register says cutting down salary raises and curbing staff growth are largely how he expects the district will cut $18 million from its budget proposal.
The reductions will be difficult to make, Register told Metro school board members Tuesday, but added the district would still come out next school year with more money than it had to work with this year.
“It’s not a crisis, but it’s going in the wrong direction,” Register told reporters.
Register is proposing the district reduce central office and support positions to the tune of $4.09 million, reduce about $5.35 million worth of new teaching positions, freeze salary step raises for all employees to total $6.47 million, and reduce the state-mandated salary increases by $1.78 million.
Register said the cuts, if they stay as is, will likely result in a slight increase in class sizes.
The nine-member school board has yet to formally review the proposed methods for cutting the budget back but is expected to discuss those reductions at its next work session June 28.
Because the Metro Council still can change what the school district budget will look like, Register said the district will likely work on reshaping cuts to the budget until July 1, when the new spending plan goes into place.
MNPS originally handed Nashville Mayor Karl Dean a $764 million budget, which included $44 million in new spending on everything from organic increases in pension and insurance costs, growth in charter schools, a mandated salary increase for the district to spread throughout the district’s teaching staff and taking on the costs of federally funded programs.
Citing repeated funding increases to the school district during the economic recession while other services remained at a stand-still, Dean’s budget shaved $18 million off MNPS’ budget.