Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Budget Talk: How are Metro schools funded and how do they spend the money? Here’s how.

Children First , News from Metro Public Schools- Metro Schools is one of the largest and most diverse school districts in America. It takes nearly 11,000 employees and countless community partners to educate 86,000 students in 166 schools. It also takes a large budget: more than $800 million, or 41 percent of the entire city’s operating budget.
We’re in the budgeting process for the 2016-2017 school year and we want you to know how schools and the district use taxpayer funds to give students a great education.

At the core of what we do, we believe instructional and support decisions should be made by the educators who know students best and see them every day. Rather than using a centralized, top-down approach, we give principals the authority to both design their own schools and decide how to use their resources to support them. We do it through a funding model called student-based budgeting.


With student-based budgeting, principals have direct control and authority over more than half of the district’s operating budget.
This means principals and school leadership teams can make their own major decisions like:
  • how many and what kinds of teachers to hire
  • whether to hire academic coaches to improve instruction
  • what extra supports their students need
  • how to offer tutoring
  • what kind of software will help improve literacy or math
“Student-based budgeting allows schools the flexibility to prioritize the needs of the school and community and spend funds accordingly,” said James Urquhart, principal of Norman Binkley Elementary School.  “One size does not fit all.” (read more)
For more on the Metro Schools budget process, visit this webpage.

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