A united Clark County School Board called for the Nevada Legislature to take action on education funding in the midst of teacher walkouts and protests nationwide.
The seven trustees said money from marijuana and room taxes — which they said voters approved specifically to raise education spending — has supplanted funding.
“We’re asking for that to change,” board president Deanna Wright said. “We’re asking for the state to provide CCSD and other school districts with additional funding, the funding many taxpayers believed they were approving.”
Trustees said they would support a special legislative session on the topic, aiming to move the money to education funding for employee pay raises. It’s not the first time calls for a special session over education funding have surfaced, and Gov. Brian Sandoval has repeatedly said the issue can be taken up in 2019, when lawmakers are next scheduled to meet.
District officials estimate a 2 percent raise for all employees would cost $40 million.
“We need to come together — all of our unions and all of our employees and us — to have a conversation where the conversation belongs, and that’s with the state Legislature,” Trustee Carolyn Edwards said.
The call to action comes while the district is fighting an arbitrator’s decision that would have give teachers a 1 percent step increase, among other items. If the district has to honor the decision, it would further deplete the ending fund balance, said Jason Goudie, the district’s chief financial officer.
“Nevada, as a state, spends about 8 percent less in 2015 than it did in 2008, even with inflation factored in,” he said.