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‘Rainy day’ fund urged for schools

CARSON CITY — Nevada schools need a "rainy day" fund that would enable them to keep higher-than-expected tax revenues rather than see the money revert to state government coffers, Senate Finance Committee members were told Monday.

Sen. John Lee, D-North Las Vegas, asked committee members to support Senate Bill 416, which would create a K-12 "schools stabilization fund."

School funding formulas are based on estimations of sales and other tax revenues. When the sources exceed expectations, some money heads back to the state’s general fund.

Legislative staff members estimate that at the end of this year, $186 million of such money will revert to the state’s general fund, Lee said.

Lobbyists representing Nevada school superintendents and teachers said at least part of that money should stay in the schools. Under SB416, 20 percent of the returning money would go to the "rainy day fund."

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