All Metro Nashville Public Schools employees will now make at least $15 per hour following the adoption of the fiscal year 2020-21 school budget at a specially-called board meeting June 30.

The board adopted the budget two weeks after Metro Nashville Council approved the city’s FY 2020-21 budget, which allocated $4.9 million for the $15-per-hour minimum wage increase. The budget also provides step increases for certified and support staff paid out of the district’s $8.2 million contingency fund.

“I want to honor the fact that we can uphold the commitment of a $15-per-hour minimum, showing respect for those who do the everyday work that directly serves our students,” District 7 school board member Freda Player-Peters said. “I hope this will lessen financial burdens for these employees and let them continue their calling to support these students. It is a great moment for MNPS.”

The final budget includes $15 million in cuts and savings, which stem from the reorganization of central office staff and school consolidations, according to district officials. As a result of these cuts, individual school budgets will not face cuts this fiscal year, Director of Schools Adrienne Battle said.

“This isn’t exactly the budget I wanted to present to you, but I’m pleased and relieved that we were able to avoid even larger cuts and that we were even able to invest in our people, which was our top priority all along,” Battle said.