Mayor Megan Barry met with Metro Nashville Public Schools Director Shawn Joseph to discuss his proposed budget for the upcoming year. Dr. Joseph is requesting a total operating budget of $902.8 million, a $59.5 million increase over the current fiscal year.
Much of the increase is aimed at programs to improve student outcomes, including more support for English Language Learners, newer technology, and an investment in social and emotional learning that Dr. Joseph hopes will mean fewer student suspensions.
Joseph laid out part of his plan last week at his State of the Schools Address, which Mayor Barry also attended.
Aside from student-focused programming, the budget proposal also includes a 3 percent cost-of-living adjustment and a step increase on all salary schedules totaling $23 million. Dr. Joseph emphasized paying well will help Nashville schools retain top teaching talent.
Mayor Barry pushed back on some parts of the proposal, including a plan to add nearly 50 new staff members at the district's central office. She added that she is excited about the ideas that will directly impact students, but it is unlikely that MNPS's entire proposal will be funded.