Metro Council Discusses Revised MNPS Budget

Posted at 4:16 PM, May 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-23 23:50:51-04

The Metro Nashville Council discussed the Metro Nashville Public Schools' revised budget after the board learned council would not give the total requested amount.

In order to make budget, the board is making cuts to educational programs and positions.

Council will be forced to decide whether or not to pull money from other departments to help fund metro schools. 

While the budget hearing began inside council chambers, parents and teachers rallied outside over the painful budget cuts.

The school board asked for a $45 million increase for this year's budget, but they're only getting $5 million. Because of this, there are a number of cuts the school board had to make. They cut 30 office positions, pausing STEAM programs and removing state funding of Advanced Placement testing.

Council member Russ Pulley talked to NewsChannel 5 about how the council could get some extra money for the school budget.

"Dollar for dollar. So, if I need, I can't just wave a magic wand and say I want $1.3 million for this department. I'll have to go find it from somewhere. Then I'll have to convince a majority of council members that's the right thing to do," said Pulley.

Teachers, frustrated not only with the lack of cost of living pay raises but with a lack of funding in general, showed up in the dozens to ask metro council members to find a way to help fund the full school budget.

"Everybody talks about how Nashville is the IT city," said Keith Spadafino, social studies teacher at Nashville School of the Arts. "Nashville is a smart city. It's a prosperous city. We shouldn't have to be cutting our schools. We should be able to figure out a good way to fully fund our schools not just for next year but for the long term."

Council members have until June 30 to approve an operating budget. If they don't, Mayor Briley's proposed budget goes into effect on July first.