Nashville board of education

The Nashville school board met Tuesday for its final budget hearing before it presents the 2018-19 operating budget to Metro Council.

The revised budget passed 6-0 at the subsequent board meeting. Three board members were not present at the meeting, including Amy Frogge, Will Pinkston and Jill Speering.

On April 16, the board approved a $924 million operating budget for the 2018-19 school year. The budget saw a nearly $45 million increase from last year's budget.

Last month the board presented the budget to Mayor David Briley who said the city could only fund the district $5 million more than it did last year. The district was ultimately left needing to cut $17 million from its asking budget.

The budget must go before Metro Council for final approval.

Here are three things to know about the revised operating budget:

1. Where does the budget stand now?

The district will receive $17 million less than what was asked for the 2018-2019 school year. Proposed cuts for next year include:

  • Repurpose nearly 90 Reading Recovery positions
  • 30 central office central positions to be cut
  • STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) program will not expand
  • District will no long reimburse students for advanced academic exams

2. Budget will go before Metro Council Wednesday

The board will present the 2018-19 budget to the council for the first time Wednesday. Metro Council must vote on a final budget before July 1.

3. Board asks parents and teachers to attend council hearings

Director Shawn Joseph and board members called on teachers, parents and other groups to be present at tomorrow's council presentation, as well as future hearings.

Joseph said that if there is an opportunity to reinstate funds to the budget, he would like for students to continue being reimbursed for advanced academic fees. The district will no long reimburse students under the current proposed budget.

"We must go to the council and communicate what our budget has and communicate that as a district we still have needs," Joseph said. "And continue to make a commitment to our employees and give them their pay grades.”

Board member Anna Shepherd and others echoed Joseph's plea to the public.

“I will be at Metro Council garnering support for our budget,” Shepherd said. “And I’m really encouraging the parents, students and organizations who support us to be at the meeting. It’s a very powerful and visual support for our budget.”

You can read the revised operating budget for next year on the district's website. The board meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month.

Dylan Skye Aycock is a Nashville-based journalist and photographer. As a reporter for Rover, Aycock follows transportation, housing and retail trends, as well as other hyperlocal and city-wide issues that affect residents in Green Hills and Belle Meade.

She previously contributed written and visual content to The Murfreesboro Pulse, American Songwriter Magazine and The Tennessean. Aycock earned a journalism degree from Middle Tennessee State University, where she honed her craft as editor-in-chief of Sidelines, the university's student-run publication. When she's not out on assignment or live-tweeting city council meetings, you can find her discovering new local spots or catching a show at one of Nashville's many music venues.

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