So what is Metro Schools’ proposed budget for next year?
The budget process for the 2016-17 school year is underway. Between now and June, the Board of Education will discuss the budget proposal, vote on it and send it to the Mayor and Metro Council for consideration.
Here is a breakdown of what is under consideration.
Total Proposed Operating Budget: $852,500,500
- Represents a 5.2% increase from the current year budget of $810 million
- Reflects projected overall enrollment growth of around 2,200 students (including charter school enrollment)
- Includes net increase of 253 full-time positions
- Includes pay raises for all employees and a change in salary schedule for certificated employees
What’s are we proposing for next year’s budget?
Every year, one of the largest increases in the operating budget comes from required costs resulting from inflation and enrollment growth. Next year, Metro Schools expects to add 2,200 students, bringing district enrollment to approximately 88,000. Each new student entering school doors requires additional funding.
There are also increases in employee compensation and benefits due to inflation. Besides unavoidable increases like those, there are major district initiatives designed to better serve students that will require funding, as well.
More Help for English Learners
- The Office of English Learners has proposed sweeping changes that include summer programs, tutoring, teacher training and mentors, community outreach, technology and dozens more teachers, among other things. These new programs will give English learners the support they need, while also better equipping Metro teachers to reach them academically. Altogether, it totals an investment of $12.7 million.
Expanded Literacy Program
- Similarly, the district’s literacy plan is progressing with plans to expand. That expansion would include hiring nearly 50 more teachers and moving substantial expenses currently paid for by federal funds to the district’s recurring operating budget. This move will mean more stable and reliable funding for the literacy program, as well as freeing up more federal money for schools to spend on their own. The investment in literacy comes to $8.9 million.
More Pay for Teachers and Staff…
- The current draft of the budget calls for $13 million to increase pay for all employees. The vast majority of that would go to teachers, in the form of step raises and a completely new salary schedule. The revised certificated salary schedule has not been finalized. We’re in the process of seeking input from various stakeholders, including MNEA.
- All teachers will receive a pay increase, though amounts will not be the same across the board as they have been in years past. The pay increase teachers can expect will depend on their years of experience.
- While we are competitive in starting teacher salaries, market data shows we’re not increasing teacher pay quickly enough during the first half of a teacher’s career to be competitive with how similar cities in our region pay more experienced teachers. The revised certificated salary schedule has not been finalized. We’re in the process of seeking input from various stakeholders, including MNEA.
…And More Pay for Teacher Leaders
- Last year’s initiative to pay teachers more money for taking on leadership roles has proven successful. The district’s leadership pipeline continues to develop, with more teachers taking on more responsibility without having to leave the classroom. This allows schools to create innovative personnel structures that bring teachers together more collaboratively. The budget includes $1.42 million for teacher-leadership pay.
More Services for More Students
- Finally, the success of Community Achieves means more schools will be given the opportunity to offer its wraparound service model to families. By adding four new school sites, and the four full-time positions needed to coordinate them, Community Achieves can serve more students. The cost of this expansion is $390,000.
With a foundational model centered squarely on funding schools equitably and empowering school leaders to make decisions on how to allocate their own resources, Metro Schools leaders are dedicated to spending taxpayer dollars wisely and for maximum student benefit.
By tying funding directly to student need, while also addressing some of the most pressing issues inside the district, the proposed budget moves the district forward in innovation and in fulfilling the initiatives of the district’s strategic plan.
View the 2016-2017 Budget Breakdown below or click here: