New committee digs into big Clark County school budget deficit

Updated September 22, 2017 - 6:50 pm

A new advisory committee will try to prevent the Clark County School District from finding itself in another budget hole like the one it’s facing now.

The district’s Community Budget Advisory Committee met for the first time Friday. About two dozen people, including lawmakers, principals, Chamber of Commerce representatives and parents joined the discussion at the Grant Sawyer building in Las Vegas.

“I think community advisory committees are great,” said Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas, a co-chair of the group. “I find them to be very valuable.”

Carlton said the committee is looking to provide suggestions and recommendations about how both the school district and the Legislature can work together to improve education. Any recommendations adopted by the committee will be passed along to the school district to take forward.

The school district’s chief financial officer, Jason Goudie, outlined for the group details of the current $50 million to $60 million budget deficit the district is grappling with. The final cuts from the budget may total between $70 million and $80 million.

Members peppered Goudie with questions about the district’s timeline for developing its budget and how it differs from that of the Legislature when in session.

Goudie said the district usually submits a final budget to the Department of Education no later than June 8. Carlton noted that means the district is finalizing its figures just as legislators are passing the education budget, which normally occurs right at the end of the session in the beginning of June.

The advisory committee is separate from a budget task force created by the district in August. The task force will examine the deficit’s cause and recommend improvements to the way the district budgets.

Contact Meghin Delaney at 702-383-0281 or Follow @MeghinDelaney on Twitter.

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