MNPS asked to make budget cuts amid COVID-19 pandemic

student classroom
Posted at 6:11 PM, Apr 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-06 19:11:11-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Nashville Mayor's office has asked Metro Nashville Public Schools to examine ways to cut up to $100 million from its budget in light of the Coronavirus outbreak.

The city was already facing a budget shortfall and last month's deadly tornado and the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak have made Metro's financial challenges even larger.

Mayor Cooper's office says they have asked "all parts of Metro Government, including MNPS, to find inefficiencies and savings in case they are needed to bridge this dramatic financial gap."

Cooper is also calling for a "substantial" property tax hike in response to the sudden recession.

NewsChannel 5 asked the Mayor's office about the MNPS requested cut. They released the following statement in response:

By state law, 50 percent of our city’s sales tax revenue must be spent on Metro Nashville Public Schools. In the current budget year, MNPS was budgeted to receive $261 million from sales taxes – which is 54 percent of Metro’s total budgeted sales tax collections.

Metro Finance estimates that revenue projections from sales taxes and other activity taxes in Davidson County will be $200-300 million lower than budgeted for the final quarter of the current fiscal year alone. The MNPS budget represents over 39 percent of Metro’s entire operating budget. The financial impact of the coronavirus on FY21 revenues remains unknown.

We are working hard to bridge the shortfall created by this sharp and sudden economic recession and our city’s long-standing financial challenges. To that end, we’ve asked all parts of Metro Government, including MNPS, to find efficiencies and savings in case they are needed to bridge this dramatic financial gap.

Our specific request to MNPS was to prepare for this level of decrease in their sales tax revenue and identify potential budget strategies to employ while serving Nashville’s growing and diverse population of students.