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CCSD eyes sales tax increase to fix budget shortfalls

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Posted at 7:15 AM, Jul 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-19 11:24:49-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — As Clark County School District officials work to balance the budget, the district is bringing up a new issue.

Officials say they need more money to improve education, but that may mean more money coming out of your pocket.

If passed, Assembly Bill 309 would give Clark County permission to increase the sales tax to fund education. The option was a hot topic in Thursday night's county commissioners meeting.

RELATED STORY: CCSD tables dean cuts, announces 'listening sessions' to seek solutions to budget shortfall

"As a teacher, I can tell you that we are in desperate need of funds," said Alexis Salt, a teacher at CCSD. "We require this money."

Vicki was recruited to CCSD from California 6 years ago. She says she was appalled by the lack of resources at her Title 1 school.

"There was no printer, there was no teacher laptop, there was nothing," Vicki added. "These Title 1 schools need support. I know money's not the answer for everything and I'm all about accountability and holding the school district accountable for the money that it gets, but I can tell you that if you want to retain teachers, you have to look at the funding situation because it's a huge issue in our schools."

Assembly Bill 309 estimates Nevada could up its education revenue by $108 million annually by increasing the sales tax by a quarter percent.

That means for every $4 you spend, tack on an extra penny.

Proceeds from the tax would go to early childhood and adult education, programs to reduce truancy, recruitment and retention of teachers, and programs to reduce homelessness.

Some local parents would rather see current resources more carefully considered.

"There's a lot more issues in the way the money is being handled," said Mark, who is a parent of a student at CCSD. "It's mismanaged. This is all documented."

RELATED STORY: 57 special education teachers from the Philippines to teach in CCSD classrooms

Clark County would be able to pass a sales tax with a 2/3 vote if Assembly Bill 309 passes through the legislature. They'll discuss the option again at their next public meeting.