Nashville school leaders are proposing an ambitious budget request to city officials.
The district told employees, parents and others at a public forum last night that it needs about $1 billion to fund all its priorities for next year.
Those priorities includes textbook funding, paid family leave and higher wages, including a $15-per-hour minimum for school employees.
Last year, the district asked the city for $962 million, but Mary Jo Cramb, a teacher at The Academy at Old Cockrill, says the district is underfunded. A salary freeze led her to get a side job.
“I would love to be able to quit my second job because it takes away [from] my sleep,” says Cramb. “I have to do it on the internet, during the hours of early morning and late night because it’s teaching English to children on the other side of the world.”
Amid teacher shortages that some say is the result of low pay, the district is suggesting Metro make a $12.59 million investment to help attract and retain employees.
“We value every employee that we have in Metro Nashville Public Schools and we must invest in every single one of them,” says MNPS interim superintendent Dr. Adrienne Battle.
Metro schools is holding a series of community budget meetings before sending a funding request to the mayor next month. The Metro Council is expected to pass a final budget in May.