Wednesday, October 23, 2019

School Board lays groundwork to ask for a whopper of a budget increase.

by Rod Williams - The Metro School Board recently studies teacher pay and says that to boost the salaries of Nashville teachers to match the city's median income would cost more than $100 million a year. Unions applauded the study.  If the School Boards plans to ask for the money suggested in the pay plan study that would be money they would need in addition to any other increases in operating cost.  That would be an increase request like we have never seen. That would be a whopper of an increase!

The current 2019-2020 operating budget for Metro Schools is $914.5 million which was a 3.2% or $28.2 million increase over the 2018-2019 budget. The school district requested $76.7 million in additional funding or an 8.6% increase over the the then current $886.3 million budget. The year before that, Schools requested a $45.7million  increase and only got a $5 million increase.

It should be noted that at the same time the Schools budget has been increasing, the enrollment has been declining despite the population increasing. Currently there are 85,163 students enrolled. In 2018-2019 the enrollment was 85,287. In the 2015-16 school year enrollment was 86,633 students.

Several candidates elected to the Council in the recent council elections ran on a platform to "fully fund" the schools.  When a large number of council members are on record as pledging to fund whatever amount the School Board says then need, that gives the School Board a blank check to ask for pie in the sky.  Look out! This should be an interested budget year.

For more information see link, link, link.

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