More than 200 new laws took effect this week, many of them focused on Governor Brian Sandoval’s education reform.
A $1.1 billion dollar price tag is attached to Sandoval’s signature initiative, when the 2015 legislative session approved tax increases that included the modified business tax and a tax on the sale of cigarettes.
In the hopes that the education overhaul will improve the state’s disparaging education statistics, funding increases are allocated to Zoom schools with high populations of English language learners, and Victory schools in the state’s poorest neighborhoods.
But are things really what they seem? A Clark County School District board meeting on the budget Monday night revealed a decrease in per-pupil spending, and teachers and administrators will not receive pay increases to offset a $67 million deficit.
Jim McIntosh is the chief financial officer for the Clark County School District.
He told KNPR's State of Nevada that a per-pupil spending drop of about $15 to $5,512 hurt the district's budget. It cost the district about $4 million.
"We were shocked to see that we had lost 15 dollars," McIntosh said.
The bump in funding for education is actually targeted at specific programs and can't be moved to adjust the spending.
McIntosh said parents will see the money raised by the tax increases in next year's school year with full-day kindergarten, Zoom Schools, anti-bullying efforts, and improved technology, to name a few programs.
McIntosh believes the money allocated by lawmakers and the governor will go a long ways to helping fix some problems in Southern Nevada schools.
"We absolutely appreciate the supplement funding that we received," he said, "I do think it will help."
McIntosh is concerned that another program that was put into place by the Legislature could further erode funding for public schools. The education savings accounts which allows parents to take the per-pupil spending for their child and apply it to a private school.
"I do think this is s a concern for us going forward in the two or three years I think we will start seeing this have an effect on our revenue," McIntosh said.
Jim McIntosh, Chief Financial Officer, Clark County School District
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