Las Vegas Sun

January 19, 2018

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CCSD approves $2.2 billion budget, paving way for more teachers

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Pat Skorkowsky, Clark County School District superintendent, listens to a question during an editorial board meeting at the Las Vegas Sun Tuesday Jan. 21, 2014.

The Clark County School Board tonight unanimously approved a $2.2 billion budget for the next fiscal year starting July 1.

The School District’s budget increased nearly $50 million, or about 1 percent, from this fiscal year. District officials said the budget increase is due to slight increases in property tax revenues and a projected increase of more than 3,300 students next year, which will boost per-pupil funding to Clark County.

The additional funding will allow the district to hire an additional 233 teachers, 500 support staff and 28 school-based administrators. Officials are also planning to issue $34.5 million in bonds, allowing the district to purchase more than 90 buses to handle the rising student enrollment.

The budget also tries to build on the district’s academic gains in recent years.

The School District is allocating an additional $8 million for professional development to help teachers transition to new academic standards, curricula and assessments in reading, math and science. The district also plans to spend $560,000 to create a new Family and Community Engagement Services department to boost family and community participation in schools.

Furthermore, the budget provides additional funding to address rising costs and upgrades.

The district plans to spend an additional $4 million on transportation because of increased fuel and maintenance costs. It also is spending an additional $2 million on new technology, including a student data visualization program.

School Board members welcomed the increased budget after years of austerity cuts. However, with signs of Las Vegas’ economy improving, members vowed to lobby the Legislature for more funding.

“We have a long way to go to get the funding we need,” School Board member Patrice Tew said.

On Thursday, a state education committee recommended a proposal to increase state per-pupil funding by 50 percent for non-English-speaking students and those in poverty. If approved by a larger task force, this proposed change to Nevada’s school funding formula could be considered in the 2015 legislative session.

Clark County Schools Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky applauded the proposed increase in state funding for English-language learners and low-income students, who are more challenging to educate.

“It’s a small step, but it’s a step in the right direction,” Skorkowsky said.

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