First Board Budget Meeting

News Release, 3.6.18

School Board Holds First Public Budget Meeting


Nashville, Tenn. – Mar. 6, 2018- Metro Nashville Public Schools announced today, the district held its first discussion with the Board of Education’s Budget and Finance Committee. The committee discussed changes to the district’s Title 1 allocation to schools, increases in per pupil spending for most schools participating in the Student-Based Budgeting funding allocation and a discussion of a recent analysis of the district’s pay scale and how salaries in the district measure up to comparable school districts and private business.

Here are some key highlights of tonight’s conversation:

  • The Board reviewed how MNPS will make adjustments to how federal Title I funds are distributed to ensure these funds are used for the highest need, highest priority schools. 
    • The State recently published numbers indicating that MNPS currently has 10 Priority schools in the bottom five percent in the state, and based on this same communication from the Tennessee Department of Education, there may be 13 additional schools listed as Priority Schools during the 2018-2019 school year. 
    • Traditionally, MNPS has distributed those funds within district to schools at the 50 percent poverty level and above.
    • However, beginning 2018-19 school year, Title 1 funds will be distributed to schools with 75 percent and above poverty levels—those schools, and student bodies, with the greatest need and with the lowest academic achievement.  
      • 87 schools with a poverty percentage of 75 percent or higher will receive a Title I allocation for the upcoming school year.
      • $3.4 million more in Title I funds to our 39 schools with a 100 percent poverty level.
  • Employee compensation is a priority to ensure we hire and retain the highest-quality staff to lead this monumental work in the district.  The district’s Human Resources department has completed an analysis of current district pay scales compared to other school districts and organizations in the private sector.  To begin to address the findings of that analysis would require a 4.5 percent increase in the district’s pay scales at an estimated cost of $25.4 million.  This amount includes a step increase for eligible staff.
    • Improving salaries is a long-term endeavor that will take multiple years and strong partnership with city leaders and Metro Council.
  • Student Based Budgeting allows principals to prioritize their school’s needs and spending through funds that are directly allocated to schools from the district operating budget.  One-hundred twenty schools out of 169 participate in Student Based Budgeting and additional dollars will be invested in this area this year.
    • For 2018-2019, the district will add $7.2 million to the Student Based Budgeting Allocation. These dollars will go directly to schools for the next operating budget.
    • The per-pupil allocation is higher for the vast majority of schools. Only five schools are actually receiving lower per-pupil allocations, however, based on adjustments for inflation, there are 21 schools that will ultimately have a decrease in purchasing power.
    • Over the past two budget years, schools have directly received $14.8 million in additional funding through Student Based Budgeting, as well as $2.2 million transferred for Encore teachers.
  • Schools that are projected to have, or are experiencing decreasing enrollment, will lose funding.
  • Some schools that may receive less money due to decreasing enrollment may also lose Title I funding based on the new allocation. 

Additional Budget and Finance Committee meetings and discussions will be held throughout the month of March, with a full proposed operating budget scheduled to be presented to the board. The board is anticipating a vote on the proposed budget April 10 before the budget is forwarded to the Mayor for the school’s annual budget hearing with the Mayor, scheduled April 18.

“We are anticipating a lean budget year next year, but we can’t let that keep us from focusing strategically and intentionally on our needs using all funding sources to their maximum effectiveness,” said Director of Schools Dr. Shawn Joseph. “While we are still a few weeks away from having a full budget proposal for the Board’s consideration, our budget discussions are centered on providing additional funding to our highest needs schools and students and addressing the priorities identified in our Strategic Plan.”

MNPS believes in equitable access and opportunities for all students, regardless of where they come from, and we believe all students benefit from high-quality instruction and high expectations each year, in each subject and in each classroom. Those guiding values have shaped the 2018-2019 operating budget proposal.









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Metro Nashville Public Schools is one of the nation’s top 50 largest school districts, preparing 88,000 students for higher education, work and life. With the goal of being the first choice for Nashville families, Metro Schools is committed to #ExceedingGreatExpectations with the mission of delivering a great public education to every student, every day. The district is earning a national reputation for urban school reform, social and emotional learning and rising academic achievement. The governing body for Metro Schools is the Metropolitan Nashville Board of Public Education, a nine-member elected body. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter @MetroSchools or Facebook /MetroSchools.