Metro Nashville Public Schools Director Makes $285,000 Per Year, Has Outside Consulting Business, Taxpayer Provided Car, and Much More

Shawn Joseph

Metro Nashville Public Schools Director Shawn Joseph has a pretty sweet arrangement with his employer, according to his four-year contract, which began in 2016.

He makes $285,000 a year. That salary, all courtesy of taxpayers, will never decrease — but it could increase.

Joseph’s contract clearly states he must devote all his full working time to the school district and can have no other gainful employment — except for later in the contract when it says otherwise.

Joseph, as the contract goes on, owns an LLC named Joseph and Associates.

“The board agrees that the director is entitled to engage in outside professional activities, including writing, consulting, and lecturing, with or without honorarium, as long as such activities do not interfere with the performance of his duties as the director,” according to the contract.

The school district did not return a request for comment Wednesday.

Among the other luxuries in Joseph’s contract:

• The school system pays for the medical, vision, and dental benefits for Joseph and his family — using the program of their choice.

• Joseph gets a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop, an answering machine, a printer, and a computer installed at his house. Taxpayers are billed directly for all the expenses.

• He gets 25 paid vacation days every year, exclusive of legal holidays. Even better for Joseph, unused days may get carried over to the next year.

• He gets a full-sized automobile, and he doesn’t have to pay for gas, maintenance, or insurance.

• Joseph can take additional leave for “professional growth and development activities.”

• Taxpayers reimburse Joseph for any expenses moving to Nashville.

• Joseph had an entire year after the start of the contract in 2016 to relocate himself and his family.

You can read the employment contract between Joseph and MNPS, signed by both parties in May 2016, here:

[pdf-embedder url=”” title=”S. Joseph Employment Contract – 5-23-18″]


Joseph’s job performance since he was hired as MNPS Director in 2016 has been less than spectacular.

“The Metro Nashville Public Schools admitted the school system has a $7.5 million budgeting shortfall in a blockbuster announcement released on Friday,” The Tennessee Star reported in March.

“MNPS School Director Dr. Shawn Joseph offered no explanation for the administrative budgeting fiasco that failed to anticipate the enrollment decline in a letter sent to teachers on Friday,” The Star noted, adding:

Instead, he simply acknowledged that a budget shortfall existed for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

“Budgeting for the many needs in our district is always a challenge, but less funding this year due to declining enrollment is always a challenge, but less funding this year due to declining enrollment and competition with other city priorities will make planning our budgeting especially difficult,” Joseph wrote.

Joseph also offered no explanation for the decline in MNPS enrollment while the population of the city is increasing.

“Our unexpected enrollment decrease this year means we will receive $7.5 million less in state funds than we budgeted for the school year,” he said.

Notably, The Star reported that “Joseph listed a number of budget reductions MNPS will be taking. Not on that list was a reduction in the high expenditures associated with his office and his staff.”

Joseph made headlines earlier this month when he played a controversial rap song for several board members to express his feelings about the job, and at least one board member took exception to that conduct, as News Channel 5 reported.

It is not known how much professional time Joseph has devoted to the conduct of his outside consulting business, to the detriment of his responsibilities to MNPS and the taxpayers and students of Davidson County.







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8 Thoughts to “Metro Nashville Public Schools Director Makes $285,000 Per Year, Has Outside Consulting Business, Taxpayer Provided Car, and Much More”

  1. Randall

    And Democrats want to run the country!

  2. Chet

    They have cut A LOT of teachers positions. TerribLe management. Teachers were learning on the last day of school that they had lost their position.

  3. Kim Dale

    I guess you all preferred Garcia and Register. I have an idea, why don’t one of you be an adult and apply for the job and do it the way it should be done. I would support you.

    1. Brian McMurphy

      That. Or the school board, who is tasked with finding a qualified applicant, could do the job they were paid to do and/or enforce any standards on the person they hired.

      I have a job. If I did what Joseph has done in regards to budget shortfalls, overspending and hiring cronies with zero – I would be out of a job.

  4. Brian McMurphy

    Having the ability to get a side hustle is not bad in and of itself. However, failing so completely in his primary employment requires guts on the part of the deciders.

    If they had guts, or standards, they would not have hired him in the first place.

    The selection of Joseph consigned at least 5-10 years of Davidson County students to being uneducated and wholly unqualified to attend any decent college.

    It’s fine for me as it will be less competition as I approach retirement but I’ll have to move further out to avoid the crime they’ll turn to as a result of being dumber than a bunch of steaming bags of Shawn Joseph.

  5. Kevin

    This is just another symptom of a much bigger problem! Adults, and I use this term very loosely, continuously look for “someone else” to do their work. Citizens think that voting is a…pain, inconvenience, waste of time, etc. and fail to vote. Voters, expect that once they vote, the vote recipients will self-direct, and they run off for a latte and a facial. Parents drop their kids off at the…bus stop, organized sporting event, mall, etc. and then stick their faces back into their electronic binkys.

    Being an adult citizen is not a spectator sport! Over paid, under performing School Directors, Governors, Senators, et al, is what we get when we don’t get into the “game”!

  6. Ned T.

    He should be designated the warden of MNPS.

  7. Bob

    Disgusting. More Democrat corruption. Was prolly in bed with Mayor Berry.