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Clark County School District says no to pay raises

The approximately 40,000 employees who work for the Clark County School District will receive no pay raises in the upcoming school year as the district attempts to fill a $67 million budget deficit.

Jim McIntosh, the district’s chief financial officer, on Monday announced the decision to eliminate any salary increases in order to save $32.3 million.

Increasing class sizes in grades four and above, cutting administrative budgets, transportation costs and other measures should help the district balance its $3.7 billion budget for the 2015-16 school year.

At a special school board meeting to approve an amended budget, Trustee Erin Cranor expressed “indignation” on behalf of the employees who now must stomach a salary freeze after the Nevada Legislature dropped the district’s per pupil funding by $15 to $5,512 in the upcoming school year.

McIntosh estimated that decline will cost the district about $4.7 million.

“I’m not thrilled that the ‘New Nevada’ includes a salary freeze for (individuals) who are committing their lives” to teaching children, said Cranor, referring to Gov. Brian Sandoval’s nickname for his education agenda.

Fellow board member Chris Garvey questioned what impact the lack of salary increases will have on the district’s recruitment efforts.

The district currently needs to hire about 1,000 more teachers before the start of the school year in August.

While an estimated 1.5 percent growth in student enrollment may provide the district with more money, it also will receive about $162.1 million in additional state revenue for specific programs such as full-day kindergarten, incentives to hire new teachers, career and technical education and more.

Still, school board members criticized state lawmakers for the cut in per pupil funding.

“Our kids are losing…as well as our teachers and support staff,” said Trustee Kevin Child “We got the shaft (and) I’m kind of upset about it.”

Contact Neal Morton at nmorton@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0279. Find him on Twitter: @nealtmorton.

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