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Metro Schools Base Budgets On Students

Posted: 8:02 PM, Mar 10, 2016
Updated: 2016-03-11 02:25:25Z

Students in the Nashville area have to work with numbers everyday to become proficient in mathematics, and now local principals are having to flex their math muscles as well as they work to organize budgets for their schools. 

"We have the opportunity now more than ever to specifically address the needs of each and every child." Rise Pope, Principal at John Early Middle School, said of Metro Nashville Schools' student-based budgeting. 

Student based budgeting is a flexible budget that gives principals the ability to tailor a large portion of their budget specific to their school instead of having the district put out a one-size-fits-all budget for all schools in the district. 

The 2015-2016 school year is the first year student-based budgeting has been used in the Metro School District, allowing schools to spend on what they need, whether it be computers, calculators, books, furniture, or anything else the school and it's students need. 

"The kids who are in this school may have different needs from the kids who are at the school down the street." Dr. Susan Kessler, principal at Hunters Lane High School, said. 

Each school is allotted a certain budget based on how many students the school has and the needs the school has, like exceptional education programs. 

The thought is that no one knows a school as well as the principal of that school, and many principals believe student-based budgeting will impact their students positively for years to come.

"This enables students to actually be able to grow at a faster pace because we're putting the money where the students are, so that way they can get what they need." Kessler explained. 

According to Metro Schools, they plan to launch an interactive database that will allow parents, students, and curious citizens view specific schools' budgets in hopes that it will improve transparency. 

For more information, you can visit www.mnps.org