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CCSD approves $3.4B budget amid drop in student enrollment

Updated April 12, 2024 - 7:31 pm

The Clark County School Board on Thursday approved the school district’s tentative $3.4 billion budget for the 2024-25 school year that is predicted to see a slight decline in student enrollment.

The district’s tentative budget now will be filed with the State of Nevada for review.

Under state law, the tentative budget must be available for public review before it comes back to the board later for formal approval, Jason Goudie, the school district’s chief financial officer, said in a presentation to the board.

Meanwhile, the district faces higher costs because of inflation and a decrease of less than 1 percent in enrollment, continuing a downward trend over the past several years, mostly during the COVID pandemic when students were learning remotely, Goudie said.

“We’re also a very large district so these small decreases in enrollment do not affect our financial stability,” he said.

Construction costs for the district “have gone up dramatically” because of rising inflation and will “require changes and additional costs to be incurred,” Goudie said.

Inflation over the past few years also has been the cause of “challenges” for the district’s employees, he said.

The number of students in classes within the district — the nation’s fifth largest — for 2024-25 is projected to be 287,352, a fall of 3,066 from the 2023-24 school year, according to figures in the tentative budget.

Per pupil spending up

The good news is that the state Legislature approved an increase in base per pupil funding to $9,497 for 2024-25, up substantially from $9,045 for 2023-24, Goudie said.

The tentative budget lists an unassigned ending fund balance of $156.6 million, according to district officials.

By far the largest portion of the estimated spending in the tentative spending plan is the 84 percent allocated to cover salaries and benefits for district employees, Goudie said.

The other 16 percent would be spent on books and supplies, technology, professional services, utilities and other district needs, he said.

The tentative budget, for funding purposes, also includes the new measure for defining “at risk” students, from those students in need of a free or reduced cost school lunch to students at risk of “not graduating with their cohorts,” Goudie said.

The money included in the tentative budget comes from “property taxes, sales taxes rolled up into the state education fund, and that is the primary source for K-12 education,” Goudie said.

Supplemental funding

In other action, the board sent a request to the state Interim Finance Committee for supplemental funding for district employees as allocated by Senate Bill 231 from the 2023 legislative session.

The bill approved $173.8 million in extra compensation, including $58 million to cover 3 percent retroactive pay for district support professionals and $4,250 extra pay for hard-to-fill positions; $114.7 million to cover 1.8 percent retroactive pay to licensed educators and extra pay of $5,000 for hard-to-fill and special education positions; and $1 million on a 4.1 percent salary increase for school police officers.

Contact Jeff Burbank at jburbank@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0382. Follow him @JeffBurbank2 on X.

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