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No consensus on CCSD solution for funding split

The Clark County School District has a plan to allocate at least 80 percent of its unrestricted budget to schools, potentially conquering a once seemingly insurmountable obstacle of the district’s reorganization.

The strategy outlined Wednesday reserves about $2.1 billion of unrestricted funds for schools in three categories: school strategic budgets, direct services for a single school, and direct services for multiple schools.

Central offices, meanwhile, would receive about $288 million — meaning the district would exceed the required 80 percent-20 percent funding split between schools and central support, landing at 88 percent for schools.

“Think of where we were back in November,” consultant Tom Skancke told the Community Implementation Council, which has overseen the overhaul effort. “The district said they could not reach the 80-20 provision within the regulation. Think about all the obstacles we’ve had to overcome in the last six months.”

Skancke stressed that Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky must remain in his position, or the overhaul will stop.

“There are many inside and outside of this room who would like to see the reorganization completely stalled,” he said. “Some of those people are on the Board of Trustees.”

The district hit the 80-20 funding split requirement by classifying certain services that come from central office as “direct services” to schools. Those include gifted and talented teachers, police officers and some speech language pathologists — all of which spend their time in one or multiple schools.

But district officials noted that schools will not yet have the authority to treat central offices as a vendor for services — meaning school teams will not be able to “shop around” for custodial services or other needs.

Not everyone is satisfied. Council member Vikki Courtney, president of the teachers union, said the plan still fails to fulfill the reorganization law. She said money was still sitting in the central office.

“I have a hard time feeling like this is solving the issue,” she said. “That (the money) is not out there and that schools don’t get to choose. The money is sitting with central services, not on school site.”

Stephen Augspurger, executive director of the school administrators union, also argued that the reorganization’s intent was not fulfilled.

“The intent of that law was to create additional monies that school teams could use to better serve the needs of kids in our school district,” he said. “And we have not done that.”

Contact Amelia Pak-Harvey at apak-harvey@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4630. Follow @AmeliaPakHarvey on Twitter.

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