School Board asks for $44M more in next year's budget

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 1:38am

A small salary bump, shifting expenses and five new charter schools are a few reasons that the Metro Nashville Public Schools district wants the city to add $44 million dollars to its budget next school year.

The $765 million budget represents a 6 percent increase over the current school year’s budget, a bump district officials expect Mayor Karl Dean will be open to.

“We’re just going to make the ask and have a discussion about it,” said board member Will Pinkston who chairs the board’s budget committee. “This is the moment in this community where we really get to have the conversation about costs, how committed people really are to creating new innovation through charters and other schools, and carrying forward investments when federal dollars run out, if we think they’re good investments.”

The nine-member school board approved the budget easily at its regular school board meeting Tuesday after weeks of discussing the implications of the increases, particularly the effect of needing $15 million to add five privately run, publicly funded charter schools next school year.

Approximately 80 percent of the district’s operating budget is made up of labor costs, according to Chris Henson, the MNPS chief financial officer. The budget also includes a 1.5 percent pay increase for district employees, plus increases in costs for pension and insurance benefits.

MNPS’ budget proposal also includes absorbing projects now paid for with federal grants like alternative teacher licensing programs, staff for a data warehouse and the district’s STEM office focusing on science, technology, engineering and math.

The proposal now goes before Dean’s administration for a budget hearing Friday at 9 a.m. in the mayor’s media conference room on the first floor of the Metro Courthouse.

10 Comments on this post:

By: Rasputin72 on 4/10/13 at 5:51

You. could give any Davidson county school board all the money they could spend and it would not change the result. Hume Fogg and Julia Green represent the success. The free lunch and free breakfast programs represent everything else.

By: Rocket99 on 4/10/13 at 7:50

Gosh you are wrong. With proper support and funding, all the schools could be like Julia Green and Hume Fogg.

By: Vuenbelvue on 4/10/13 at 7:58

Another 6% budget increase. It must be costly to educate the children of the world. So taxpayers also pay $15 million more for Charter Schools. Then there should be a audit of all of the charter schools to control what is allowed as profit and what is allowed for payment of any kind to the CEO. Then we could see how serious they really are. That brings metro up to $10,000 per student a year.

By: Rasputin72 on 4/10/13 at 8:20

Rocket99...............Tell me exactly how that woks. Money can do most anything but it cannot eliminate genetics, lack of motivation and disinterest.

At least I nevef saw it when I was in public school.

By: JeffF on 4/10/13 at 8:26

Silly rubes still think there are for-profit charter schools in Nashville. How sad.

By: pswindle on 4/10/13 at 8:30

Charter Schools will break and destroy public schools. Charter Schools will walk off with money in their pockets and the students will be left with pie on their faces.

By: Rasputin72 on 4/10/13 at 8:56

PS Swindle..........Now all they get is a free breakfast or free lunch their face.

By: firstworldproblems on 4/10/13 at 10:53

No, Rasputin, Julia Green and Hume-Fogg do not represent the only success.

The school where I teach, for instance, has shown substantial gains over the past three years. Did you know that our students went from an 18% proficiency rate to a 50% proficiency rate, and we keep increasing, due to funding of a literacy program that we didn't previously have?

Our math predictor tests have shown that our students are outpacing last year's 2 to 1, because funding allowed us to have a numeracy coach this year, whereas last year we had none. Our school has an 85% FRL population.

Stop assuming that people who come from poverty are not able to produce positive results. It takes money, it takes the right teachers, and yes, it takes more work. Many of them don't want to do it. Many of them haven't yet. But some of them have risen to the occasion; we have more of our students graduating and going to college than ever before, and things are working. And it's not because people like you are telling them that they can't. It's because there are programs in place and people in place telling them that they can, and that they will.

If you want more educated people, you have to fund education. It's as simple as that. You can be an armchair educator all you want, but unless you're volunteering in one of the schools that actually needs it and/or have firsthand knowledge of how a school actually works, rather than just your assumptions based on the fact that you went to school once (that doesn't make you an authority, btw), then give us the resources we need and stop complaining about how we use them.

Be the change or get out of the way of the people that are trying to be the change.

By: kevin47881 on 4/11/13 at 8:52

Washington DC students would all be Rhodes scholars if money was the driving factor of student success. Alas, it isn't.

By: JeffF on 4/11/13 at 10:38

I sure would hate to see charter school "break and destroy" the already broken Metro schools. It would be a real shame to have all that glowing success get flushed. Oh wait, all the glowing success is in the private schools and the select life's-lottery schools. Oh well, screw the poor with their own schools, they had it coming anyway,