$100 million. That’s how much the already struggling Nashville school district is being asked to cut in the wake of the economic challenges created by the COVID-19 outbreak. The Tennessean has more:
Mayor John Cooper has asked Nashville schools to explore ways to potentially cut up to $100 million from its current budget as the coronavirus continues to take a toll on the city’s revenue collections.
As non-essential businesses remain closed and Nashville residents are spending less time outside, city officials are forecasting a $200 million to $300 million shortfall in expected taxes and other revenue for the current fiscal year.
The potential budget cuts come even as Gov. Bill Lee insisted on $41 million in state funding for his voucher scheme while cutting funds sent to districts for teacher compensation.
Teachers in Nashville already lag behind those in other districts when it comes to pay.
It’s not clear where MNPS will find room for cuts, but based on past actions, it seems likely some savings would be realized by moving more students to virtual schools. It also seems likely entire programs could be reduced or eliminated.
This difficult climate is happening in a state that clearly has yet to learn the lessons of the Great Recession. Tennessee is at least $1.7 billion behind where it should be to adequately fund schools, according to a report from the bipartisan legislative study group known as TACIR.
For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport