The Metro Council has asked the Metro Nashville Board of Education to hold a second public hearing on the school district’s proposed $633 million budget for the next fiscal year.
In an overwhelming vote of 32 to 2, the council approved a memorializing resolution that requests another public hearing be held, this time on a Saturday and at a school auditorium equipped to hold a large crowd. In addition, the council has urged that Metro3, the government-run station, televise the hearing.
School board chair David Fox could not be reached for comment.
Sponsors of the resolution are council members Michael Craddock, Eric Crafton and Jamie Hollin, who each took turns at last week’s hearing to blast cuts that target custodians and bus drivers in the proposed budget.
Under the plan, Director of Schools Jesse Register is looking to cut $10.9 million by outsourcing the district’s custodial services, which would affect more than 600 employees, and by reducing the work hours of school bus drivers. The budget proposal would also eliminate 24 positions inside the district’s administrative office.
Last week’s hearing saw hundreds of custodians and bus drivers try to squeeze into the school board’s work room, forcing many to watch from outside through an ajar door.
The bill’s sponsors told the board at the hearing they hoped Nashvillians would have a second chance to voice their opinions on the budget, requesting it be scheduled on a weekend to accommodate all school employees.
The timing of the council’s memorializing resolution could be an issue, as the board is scheduled to vote on the budget at its next board meeting on March 23.