weather icon Drizzle

Gov. Sisolak donating his salary to Nevada’s high-poverty schools

Updated April 24, 2019 - 1:01 pm

Gov. Steve Sisolak will donate his salary to high-poverty schools across the state, fulfilling his campaign promise to give his earnings to charity until public education improves in Nevada.

Sisolak’s office said on Wednesday that he will give his net salary for each fiscal quarter in his four-year term to Title I schools — those that have a high percentage of students in poverty.

The money — $24,654 in the first quarter and three other installments this year that may vary slightly in amount — will be placed in a separate bank account, the office said.

By the end of his term, every Title 1 school will receive $1,000, Sisolak wrote in a letter to the Department of Education. Any remaining funds will be distributed evenly to all of the 416 such schools in the state.

“I asked the people of Nevada for the chance to lead this state for many reasons, chief among them being the opportunity to improve educational outcomes for every child in every classroom in the state,” Sisolak said in a statement.“To show my commitment to this goal, the first lady and I are donating my net state salary back to public education.”

Education stakeholders have called on legislators to overhaul the state’s school funding formula, provide raises for educators and adequately fund public schools during the ongoing legislative session.

But so far, legislators still have not unveiled a bill expected to change the way Nevada funds education.

And despite factoring in a 3 percent increase for school employees in the governor’s proposed budget, districts are already projecting deficits for next school year.

The Washoe County School District has projected a $17.8 million deficit for the 2019-20 school year. Churchill County schools have also projected a deficit, according to the Nevada Appeal.

In Clark County, district officials are at odds with the numbers outlined in the governor’s proposal for a salary increase — saying that the extra money is not enough to cover the proposed raises. The district estimates it would receive $55 million to $70 million in additional funding under Sisolak’s plan, but claims it would need roughly $100 million more to cover the raises.

The district nevertheless expressed gratitude for Sisolak’s announcement on Wednesday.

“The Clark County School District thanks Gov. Steve Sisolak for donating his salary to our schools that serve some of our neediest students, who have been historically under-served and under-resourced,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

The Washoe district said in a statement that it appreciates the governor’s dedication to public education.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the governor and state lawmakers to support Nevada students as we prepare them for the world and workplaces of the 21st century,” the statement read.

The Clark County Education Association, which represents teachers, said in a statement that the move highlights the need for more funding in schools now.

“We look forward to working closely with the governor to fulfill the rest of his commitments to public education in our state so that our educators are paid the salaries they deserve, and that our students have the resources they need to learn,” the association said.

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

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
Clark County 2019 Election Results - Video
The 2019 Elections wrap up in Clark County including an upset in the Boulder City Mayor race.
Greene discusses Read by 3 and Opportunity Scholarships - VIDEO
The Nevada Legislative Session is over and the results are mixed for Nevada students, according to Tom Greene, Senior regional legislative director, Excel in Ed in Action.
The Right Take New Education Funding Plan - VIDEO
On Monday, Senate Education Committee chair Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, released a new education funding formula. For years, many Democrat politicians have criticized the current education funding formula, called the Nevada Plan. They claim it’s old and outdated. Their biggest beef is that it doesn’t allocate more money for students who are English Language Learners or live in poverty. The theory is that it’s harder to educate those students and so they need additional services, which costs additional money.
Al Gore Speaks At UNLV About Climate Change - Video
Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore talks to an audience at UNLV about the effects of Climate change and how to switch to renewable sources of energy.
Forum on Wages and Working People Highlights - VIDEO
Presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, and John Hickenlooper speak in Las Vegas, Nevada.
House committee OKs bill by Titus for airport signs

The House Homeland Security Committee approved a bill by Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., Wednesday to translate airport signs into multiple languages to assist tourists and others who don’t speak English.