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CCSD CFO Jason Goudie talks about school district’s budget

The Clark County School District wants to replace the current Professional Growth System. The current system is unaffordable and the district wants to link increased funding with accountability. The legislature also needs to change state labor law to prevent all new funding from going towards employee pay hikes. That’s according to Jason Goudie, the district’s chief financial officer.

The district would also like to trade out the Professional Growth System for something that links increased funding with accountability, according to Goudie.

“I do not believe in the long-term, it is affordable,” he said while filming Nevada Politics Today. “The challenge is that this is a two- to three-year plan that if every member decided to participate in this every two to three years, they could have column movement. If you take 18,000 members at every three years and apply about a $7,300 cost to the district, it’s about $130 million.

“That’s $130 million that’s got to be found potentially every three years. It won’t be that high, because not every person goes through it.”

CCSD is looking for an alternative “that has accountability tied to it to ensure that the teachers get more out of it, and that means the students get more out of it.”

Goudie believes the union would be interested in working on a proposal to do that.

“I don’t believe that they’re against looking at a plan that makes it better for teachers,” he said. “It makes it better for the students and that it becomes affordable for the entire district so that we can live up to our commitments on a long-term basis. So, I don’t think those are outlandish asks.”

Goudie also said that the district needs to be able to spend new dollars on things other than giving raises to current employees.

“Just because there’s money available does not mean it should automatically go and increase people’s pay,” he said. “There are other programs. We need to reduce class size. We need to improve the operations and maintenance of our facilities.”

The district received $53 million from Senate Bill 551, which extended a tax. Senate Republicans have filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of doing that without a two-thirds vote in both houses as the constitution requires. If the lawsuit succeeds, Goudie said the district could lose an amount larger than its current ending fund balance of $40 million.

On Wednesday, the district and Clark County Education Association reached a financial agreement that averted a potential teacher strike. Before that happened, Gov. Steve Sisolak held a Friday press conference blasting the district for not requesting enough money to fund column increases. Teachers can receive that raise by completing professional development and continuing education. Asked why the district didn’t request those funds, Goudie disagreed with the governor.

“We did” ask for money to fund column increases, Goudie said. “We had money for the Professional Growth System noted in our total need component.”

Goudie also said that teachers have received frequent pay increases. “Almost every single year over the last decade, there have been step increases or increases in the pay scale,” he said.

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