In response to COVID-19, the U.S. Congress passed several pieces of legislation that sent billions of dollars in relief funds to states. Tennessee received, in total, $4.2 billion to be spent on schools across the state in three phases. This is known as the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, and for the third phase that was included in the American Rescue Plan, MNPS has been granted $276 million.

This funding will help Nashville schools address the impact that the pandemic has had – and continues to have – on our schools. MNPS is tasked with determining the approach, prevention and relief of COVID-19, and identifying other factors that may be needed for student success within the parameters set forth by Congress and the Department of Education at the federal and state level.

Funding Priorities

The legislation that created ESSER 3.0 outlines several requirements that districts must meet or follow to allocate and spend the funding, which includes reserving at least 20 percent of funds to accelerate learning progress for students.

Dr. Adrienne Battle and her team have identified four key areas for funding along with examples of programs that are proposed to be funded through these categories:

  • Build Infrastructure
    Build Infrastructure
    • Next generation WIFI
    • Teacher and student laptops
    • Increase technology supports
  • Accelerate Academics
    Accelerate Academics
    • High-dosage tutoring
    • Interventions
    • Advanced Academics
    • Arts and Athletics
    • Accelerate Metro Schools Reimagined
    • Work-based learning
    • Summer and extended learning
  • Grow Our People
    Grow Our People
    • PD and Planning Support
    • Hire Forward investment
    • Staff pulse checks
  • Every Student Known
    Every Student Known
    • Increase counselors
    • Contracted mental health supports
    • Restorative practice assistants
    • Translation Services
    • Navigator
    • Family pulse checks
    • Community Achieves


Budget Breakdown

Subject to approval by the Metro Nashville Board of Education, MNPS has used the stakeholder engagement process to inform the following investment strategies for ESSER 3.0 funding:

These four areas align with the required Tennessee Department of Education key priorities: Academics, Student Readiness, Educators and Foundational Elements. Note that many of these investments represent multi-year strategies and not one-time immediate expenditures. 

For additional comments of feedback on the plan, please email [email protected]


Aspirational Operating Budget

Earlier this year, Dr. Battle presented a budget to the Board of Education that included a “continuity of operations” section to show what it would cost to maintain our current level of operations as a district, as well as several aspirational budget options, or a menu of options, that the Board, the Mayor, or the Metro Council could consider for funding.

ESSER Budget Brief Document ViewIn addition to fully funding the continuity of operations budget, and creating a new pay structure for MNPS teachers to have the best paid educators in the State of Tennessee, the Mayor and Metro Council funded several items from the aspirational budget including advocacy centers at all of our elementary schools and 7 new school psychologists.

This article outlines the proposal approved by the Board of Education with a Community Town Hall video that breaks down the different funding strategies identified in the aspiration budget. Our Investment Strategies to Support Students document shows which of these strategies is proposed for funding through either our operating budget, ESSER at the district or school level, other funding (i.e. federal grants or capital spending), or items that are not currently proposed for funding in FY2021-22.

ESSER Informational Session

Frequently Asked Questions