LAS VEGAS (KTNV) - The Clark County School District has checked between their couch cushions and they are still facing a potentially $80 million budget shortfall.
"This will be an across-the-board budget shortfall, and we've asked all of our department and our schools to prepare for some sort of cut,” said Kirsten Searer, spokesperson with CCSD.
Contact 13 obtained internal memos sent by the superintendent to district staff. In them, the problems are spelled out in black and white.
Issues include monies from the state and local tax revenues falling short of expectations and big employee raises the district is being forced to give.
"I totally appreciate people are probably wondering if you are getting more money, why are you in such a budget shortfall, but the problem is our employee cost make up 87 percent of our annual budget,” Searer explained.
The budget crisis has both the Clark County Education Association and the Clark County Association of School Administrators and Professionals blasting the budget shortfall citing the district was supposed to get an increase in funding from the legislature.
According to the CCEA, the district was appropriated an additional $140 million for school years 2017-2019 from the state.
CCSD officials say that money is earmarked for specific purposes and largely not for their biggest expense -- employee salaries.
Last week, the CCSD Board of Trustees voted to cut $43 million from the budget. That figure is likely going to grow much larger.
Internal memos from district leadership are prepping schools to brace for potentially $80 million in cuts.
"What I don't understand, and I'm trying to understand the math, as to understand how the problem exists in the budget hole that is being created,” said Steve Canavero, the State Superintendent of Public Education.
Canavero says there is no lifeline, no safety net, and no magic wand to fix the problem.
Through the reorganization of CCSD, how the cuts are implemented are up to each school’s leadership team.
In October, action is expected to plug the budget hole, and the internal memos allude to layoffs.
Adding insult to injury, CCSD says they recently lost arbitration with their administrator union. That means sizeable jumps in pay for principals, assistant principals, and deans within CCSD.
An internal memo dated Aug. 28 puts the salary increases between $10,000 to $17,000 next fiscal year. That will push several salaries between $108,000 and $171,017 per year.
Clark County Association of School Administrators and Professionals said those raises are actually due from previous school years.
Executive Director for the CCASA, Stephen Augspurger, said step increases for wages have been frozen since April and will likely remain that way for the time being.