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Nevada charter schools hitting class-size goals may get funds

Nevada charter schools that comply with class-size requirements would be eligible to receive money from the state, under a bill introduced Tuesday in the Legislature.

Sen. Scott Hammond, R-Las Vegas, said the bill would create equity. Many charters in the state comply with the rules but are not eligible for funding for being in compliance.

The bill includes a “hold harmless” provision, meaning the bill will not go into effect unless additional money is set aside to offset the increased cost so that districts do not receive less money because charters opt in.

The class size requirements dictate the student-to-teacher ratios. Schools and districts receive money for complying and have to apply for waivers if they cannot meet the standards. Nevada charter schools are not held to that standard.

Assembly Bill 459 envisions an opt-in provision, but does not require charter participation.

Historically, charters have more autonomy than traditional schools in certain areas, including the budget, said Patrick Gavin, the executive director at the Nevada State Public Charter School Authority.

Requiring charters to participate would be a financial constraint and may be a deal breaker for new charters looking to come into the state, he said.

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

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