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CCSD budget cuts lead to tough choices for parents

Increase in teachers' pay blamed
Posted: 11:26 PM, May 08, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-09 12:10:49-04

Dozens of parents at Clark County schools received emails Tuesday calling them to School Organization Teams meetings to help slash a combined $47 million from their school budgets.

The messages came a day after Clark County School District Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky sent a memo to principals reopening the budget process because of projected $68 million budget deficit.

In the document, the superintendent said the deficit was "primarily related" to recent rulings that would increase teachers' pay.

The district is calling on each principal to cut their budget on a per-student basis with elementary schools cutting $132.22 per student and middle and high schools cutting $153.30 and  $184.68 per student respectively.

The district office is scheduled to absorb the remaining $21 million.

Parents on the School Organizational Teams (SOT) were shocked by the decision.

"I can't believe it," said Lisa Mayo-Desario, a member of the Bonanza High School SOT.

The principals are being asked to submit their revised budget by May 16, giving them little time to bring their SOT together and giving parents even less time to consider their options.

"It is quite scary, because what program do you cut and who do you cut," said Abraham Camejo, a member of the Rancho High School SOT.

Both parents told 13 Action News their main concern is not cutting teachers.

"I absolutely do not want to reduce a teacher. I don't want to increase a class size," Mayo-Desario said.

But after-school programs are just as important to the parents because they understand how they can help keep students on track.

"Keeps them motivated. Keeps their GPA higher," Camejo said.

While they realize they will likely have to make the tough choices this time, the parents hope in the future the district office will bear the brunt of the cuts.

"How can I as an SOT member or the administration go in and make changes when we don't have all the facts," Mayo-Desario said.