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NASHVILLE, Tenn.- Officials with Metro Schools held a meeting Wednesday to determine how they are going to cut $3.5 million out of this up-coming school year's budget after Metro Council did not approve the School's entire budget request.
While school leaders have to cut some areas of their budget they said the recent salary increase for teachers will not be one of them. The changed increased the starting salary for teachers to $40,000 a year and has helped Metro Schools welcome hundreds of new teachers to the district.
"It's been very hard for us as a district when our recruiters go out and we go to career fairs and job fairs and different places to compete against similar districts our size," said Earl Wiman with Metro Schools Human Resources.
Metro's push to increase teacher's starting salary to $40,000 a year- not only sweetened its pitch to applicants, they said it's strengthened who they ultimately hired. Metro is moving up a notch when compared to other districts across the state, putting the salaries more in line with those that are comparable in size.
"The pay raise, it does help. You're not getting rich being a teacher but it will help, especially the new teachers coming in," said Wiman.
The effect, district leaders say is a more diverse group of teachers. While a majority are still recent college grads, the group also includes more teachers from other districts and other professionals who have decided to switch careers. Like Kristen Kurn, who expects to bring her experience in banking to her classroom.
"Having those things in my back pocket in a sense is really going to help me with the students," she said.
While teachers will now start at $40,000 a year they won't move up the pay scale any faster as previously discussed.
Cuts being proposed to the budget include not filling 14 positions and cutting the budget for supplies, travel and other materials.