Budgeting for Tomorrow

Budgeting for Tomorrow
Posted on 02/11/2020
2020-21 Budget

The MNPS budget process kicked into a new gear - and with a new approach - Tuesday afternoon as Director of Schools Dr. Adrienne Battle and Mayor John Cooper addressed the Board of Education to discuss possibilities and priorities for the 2020-21 fiscal year.

Dr. Battle said that instead of guessing how much money the district might be able to get from Metro Government, she saw an opportunity to try something different by offering a maintenance-of-effort budget and explaining a number of options for new investments in our schools.

She told Board members that simply maintaining the status quo in the new year would require $28.2 million in new funding, which would bring the operating budget to $950 million. But she made it clear that the status quo won't be sufficient.

“Make no mistake,” Dr. Battle said. “If we don't make serious investments in people and programming, we will backslide.”


She then presented a number of potential investment strategies related to the Board's seven top priorities, with an understanding that not all will be funded and that some could overlap.

The priorities, available for download, are:

  • employee compensation

  • social-emotional learning and academic integration

  • textbooks and instructional materials

  • pre-kindergarten

  • Schools of Innovation

  • community and parent engagement

  • human resources and IT infrastructure.

“Our conversation today is the start of a larger conversation that involves you, the community, the Mayor and Metro Council,” Dr. Battle told the Board.

Mayor Cooper briefly addressed the Board at the start of the meeting, saying he wants to have shared goals for the city's educational outcomes and wants Nashville to be known as “the best city in the South for teachers.”

Watch the full MNPS Budget and Finance Committee meeting held on February 11.

“We want to meet these challenges together,” the Mayor said. “I want to work with you to attract and retain great teachers, because that's the single most important thing we can do to help our students learn.”

District 8 Board Member Gini Pupo-Walker, chair of the Board's Budget & Finance Committee, called the new approach to the budget a “paradigm shift” and said it's now important for Dr. Battle and the Board to take the investment strategies out into the public for feedback.


The Board held four community budget presentations in recent weeks:

Download our Budget Priorities

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