A battle in Nashville over a charter school led to a hefty state penalty.
But it may not mean students and teachers will feel cuts right away.
Earlier Tuesday, the Metro Schools' director talked for the first time about how the district will handle a multi-million dollar budget cut.
Dr. Jesse Register said the school system will not stop hiring people.
The district is having to make adjustments after losing more than $3 million from the state as punishment for denying the Great Hearts Academy Charter School.
Metro school leaders had been hoping the state education commissioner would change his mind about withholding $3.4 million from the district.
But now that the money is gone, the district must decide where to cut. However, those decisions don't have to be made immediately.
"We're quite concerned about the size of the penalty," said Register.
Until Monday, the Metro school district was hopeful it had made enough inroads in discussions with the state that the education commissioner would change his mind.
But it didn't happen and Metro Schools is now officially $3.4 million poorer.
Just because the money didn't come in this month doesn't mean the cuts have to happen immediately.
"During the course of the school year we will look at how we can make savings and how we can curtail some of the activities we were planning for the year, some of the purchases we were planning and solve that problem by the end of the school year," said Register.
Register said there has been a lot of misinformation out there about how the district plans to handle the cut.
For instance, a hiring freeze isn't on the horizon.
"There will not be a hiring freeze and we really don't expect there to be a hiring freeze at any time," said Register.
The district often brings the school board a budget amendment when costs shift in purchases and programs.
The same thing could happen here.
Register didn't rule out using a part of the district's $55 million reserve fund to help close the gap.
In the end, though, Register said they will find a way to make ends meet, but everything the district does impacts the classroom in one way or another.
"We'll be very deliberate and very thoughtful about how we save that money," said Register. "$3.4 million is a lot of money and it does have an impact on us."
Register said he still believes the school board acted in good faith.
He's concerned the district has been painted as being "anti-charter" school and said that's not the case at all.
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